Little tips and tricks to be the best

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Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota

46 months ago

Stefanie in Kansas City, Missouri said: I have a few questions about dental assisting for anybody who is willing to answer them...
I have just started community college in Kansas City, but I guess I didn't research enough about dental assisting, from what I've read you don't actually have to go to school to get a degree or even a certificate, right? Ever since I was little, I've wanted to get into dental of some kind, and I have decided on this since my first year in high school and haven't changed my mind since. But I am very stressed out that I'm not going to be able to find someone who will take me if I haven't graduated college without a degree. I am also wondering if I go look for a dentist around my area, what I should say to them? Like do I just ask if they're hiring or do I say that I'm looking for an internship or what? Because I don't want to make myself look bad by not having a degree. Please help!

I would type up a short "resume" or contact sheet about yourself and what you are interested in. Print up a few and go around town to some dental offices. Ask to meet the dr. Dress and look tidy. Tell them your ambition. A smile and honesty goes a long way!

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GA2thFairy in Macon, Georgia

46 months ago

Stefanie, if dental assisting is what you want to do, then it is what you will do!
You may get lots of advice from lots of people, but I recommend that you take a few minutes to check out www.highestpaiddentalassistant.com.

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Amber in Roseville, California

46 months ago

shj rda in Dallas, Texas said: Hi everyone! I have a few questions for anyone willing to help!
I just got out of dental assisting classes and am almost through with my extern. Problem is, I went to one of those 10 week classes for my studies. Only it wasn't 10 weeks, it was only 5 weeks of lecture and 5 weeks of extern. I was the best student in class so I got to have first pick of places where my class could extern. I chose a doctor who has been practicing for 50 years and has experience in all aspects of dental. At his office he offers everything. There is no referring pt's out because we have treatment op's, hygiene op's and ortho op's. So any & everything is right there in office. ......etc,etc,etc

MAN do I know how you feel. Sorry to hear about the burr thing but to be honest thats just how doctors are. I would avoid bugging the doctor as much as possible. Keep a close eye on what everyone else does to prepare for the doctor and ask the other assistants what the doctor likes/dislikes/uses/etc...If I were you the more you just jump in and assist the better. Offer to take over for another assistant, They love it when a newbie is assertive and eager to jump into working. It took me a while to catch on to how things are done in a dental office, unfortuneately most offices do not have very good communication so jumping in and using your best judgement is pretty much all you can do. Go out there and get em tiger!

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Sunshine09 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

46 months ago

stephanie CDA in Atlanta, Georgia said: I have assisted for 15 yrs. I am an exceptional assistant because i try to anticipate my drs. every move. Try to learn as many routine procedures as possible. Learn the Drs. flow, have burs ready, next appt set up, and no wasting of mateial. They love this. Ask questions as to why the dr. likes to use certain materials at certain times. this way when you see such things as a pulp expoure, you'll know what to have out. Also learn to make temps this saves th dr. lots of time, therefore able to have more production

Hey- I Have acctually been assisting for 4 months now myself, (REferreing to the post from the girls post up above) and I was just wondering how to get into a good friendship base with all the other assistants, Just to make sure we are all on good terms, and some helpful tips to really make a stand out to the Dr. to show my improvemtn! I'm an Orothdontics Assistant, i love it. I would just like some good advice on keeping up with good terms with the aissistants i work with plus, Standing out to the Dr.

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Stephanie in Atlanta, Georgia

46 months ago

Sunshine09 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa said: Hey- I Have acctually been assisting for 4 months now myself, (REferreing to the post from the girls post up above) and I was just wondering how to get into a good friendship base with all the other assistants, Just to make sure we are all on good terms, and some helpful tips to really make a stand out to the Dr. to show my improvemtn! I'm an Orothdontics Assistant, i love it. I would just like some good advice on keeping up with good terms with the aissistants i work with plus, Standing out to the Dr.

Hello Sunshine, first please remember, you're at work, not there to make friends. To stay on good terms, treat others the way you wish to be treated. Keep you business to yourself, and dont talk behind others backs. Never say anything you wouldn't say to anothers face. Also to be a standout pay attention to procedures, learn and clean up as you go. When I say learn, i mean to know why he uses certain materials or instrmts. good luck!

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annie in Carrollton, Texas

45 months ago

luvsurgery in Mexia, Texas said: Don't feel like the lone ranger. My class doesn't even have enough instructors. No tables to write on during lecture. We use our laps. I am very depressed about the 2000 I wasted on this.

what school did you go to?

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annie in Carrollton, Texas

45 months ago

Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota said: I would type up a short "resume" or contact sheet about yourself and what you are interested in. Print up a few and go around town to some dental offices. Ask to meet the dr. Dress and look tidy. Tell them your ambition. A smile and honesty goes a long way!

I suggest to not ask to see the doctor just to show your resume. They will not care. Ask for the office manager, they do all the hiring and firing 95% of the time. All the doctor focuses on is doing the his work. Most doctors only talk to those who bring them money, which are the patients. Not the one asking for money ( you) lol. Good luck though! physically going into offices is a good way to letting them know you want this!!

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LaCremita in Raymond, Washington

39 months ago

Fawn DA in Modesto, California said: Hi I had an interview today and they asked me to come back as much as possible next week for a working interview....what should i expect?? they are all really nice. its a slow paced office,...they know that I am really new, (new graduate)...and the dr. is fairly new too. please help me as much as possible!! im so nervous i cant eat!! haha! thanks a lot! my email is: fawnndaniel03@yahoo.com i would love to hear back from someone who can really help me ease my nerves! :)

I feel like this as well I just started my externship at a clinic and well the Dr. intimdates me that i get super nerves when i assist him

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djphelps07@gmail.com in West Chester, Ohio

39 months ago

I really like reading the boards. I'm 51 years old and been in dental for 23 years. My last job ended in 6-08. I had been there 14 years and had to quite because I went through breast cancer treatments so I had been out of job world for 2 years to recover. I was so scared to go look for another job. So I took the first one that got offered because of pressure from husband to get back to work. I didn't like it at all. I thought the dentistry was crappy and I used to very high quality work and nice dentist. So after 9 months they let me go. I just couldln't focus or get back in groove. I was so nervous all the time and not confident. I wouldn't of lost the other job if I wasn't so sick. I keep beating myself up that I couldn't perform my dental duties. I not know if it was just the office and atmosphere or maybe I cant do this kind of work and multitasking.Plus as we all know this dentist was totally no personality at all and I always felt like I was doing something wrong or pissing him off. Its that constant sighing. Plus to top it all off. A very OCD office manager,, It was a very small office and I thought that would be great for me since everything I had been through. I need you guys opinion. do you think I should quit dental field or give it another try with a different office I have physical limitations as you all know being as assistant the toll it takes on your body. My wrists, back nect ect are weak. But I hate to quit this profession, I love what I do and love people. It still pays decent money also. I'm sorry I rambled on for so long, my husband has been supportive, but is burnt on the whole situation. Your advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I've been cancer free for 5 years now and feeling good. Thanks Darla

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DentalGURU2009 in Richmond, Illinois

39 months ago

djphelps07@gmail.com in West Chester, Ohio said: I really like reading the boards. I'm 51 years old and been in dental for 23 years. My last job ended in 6-08. I had been there 14 years and had to quite because I went through breast cancer treatments so I had been out of job world for 2 years to recover. I was so scared to go look for another job. So I took the first one that got offered because of pressure from husband to get back to work. I didn't like it at all. I thought the dentistry was crappy and I used to very high quality work and nice dentist. So af Your advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I've been cancer free for 5 years now and feeling good. Thanks Darla

Hi Darla. First, congrats on being cancer-free. I can tell you that your story is not unique and there are many bad offices out there. I recently became "fed up" and I will not go back. I **LOVE** dentistry and I am awesome at it btw. But I am so through with the drama. The dr's are either mean or want an affair. The girls are mean and competitive. I dont need this at all in my life. I'm not young anymore . Dentistry is physically -trying. You see, finding a "good" office is a time intensive process. Trial and error if you will. Think of your years as a sweet gift from above. DO you really want to spend those yrs with people who don't care and appreciate you?? I know I don't!
I am going to start my own business this year.

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DentalGURU2009 in Richmond, Illinois

39 months ago

djphelps07@gmail.com in West Chester, Ohio said: I really like reading the boards. I'm 51 years old and been in dental for 23 years. My last job ended in 6-08. I had been there 14 years and had to quite because I went through breast cancer treatments so I had been out of job world for 2 years to recover. I was so scared to go look for another job. So I took the first one that got offered because of pressure from husband to get back to work. I didn't like it at all. I thought the dentistry was crappy and I used to very high quality work and nice dentist. So af Your advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I've been cancer free for 5 years now and feeling good. Thanks Darla

Hi Darla. First, congrats on being cancer-free. I can tell you that your story is not unique and there are many bad offices out there. I recently became "fed up" and I will not go back. I **LOVE** dentistry and I am awesome at it btw. But I am so through with the drama. The Dr's are either mean or want an affair. The girls are mean and competitive. I dont need this at all in my life. I'm not young anymore . Dentistry is physically -trying. You see, finding a "good" office is a time intensive process. Trial and error if you will. Think of your years as a sweet gift from above. DO you really want to spend those yrs with people who don't care and appreciate you?? I know I don't!
I am going to start my own business this year.

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Alexis in Ocala, FL

38 months ago

Hello,

I have one semester left until I finish my Bachelors degree in Business Management, but want to dental assist now. I am not sure whether to go through a year long dental assisting program or take a few certification courses in Expanded Functions, Radiography, and/or Fabricating Crowns & Bridges.

I heard that dentists don't care so much about the titles as long as you have formal training, whether on the job or through school.
Since no certification is required in FL to practice Dental Asst, I am leaning towards getting the certifications in EF & Rad.

I have accumulated about 60 hours of dental assisting, and need 6 months before being eligible for the later trainings, in which I will need to learn all that dental asst. school might teach me through OJT instead.

Is there any website or particular textbook for Dental Assisting or Dentistry that will teach me the hard stuff like which burs to set up prior to procedures, etc?

I read through the DOH site that as of April 2009, DANB certification is obsolete. I think the certification in 12 mo. asst courses comes from DANB, where one would have to continue education to upkeep CDA. Does one make more than the other? (CDA vs. DA certified in EF & Rad)

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Gracie in Tallahassee, Florida

37 months ago

Question.....does anyone find it more effective to stand up while assisting?

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DentalGURU2009 in Richmond, Illinois

37 months ago

Gracie in Tallahassee, Florida said: Question.....does anyone find it more effective to stand up while assisting?

Well, I guess it depends on the procedure. Some docs prefer to stand during "tough" extractions. Then the assistant would stand as well in that case.
Try to have your chair substantially higher than the docs chair. You want to make sure that you have a good view of what you are doing ( no matter the quadrant at the time) Being higher is key. I prefer to sit, but there were some girls in he office that were shorter and lked to stand during procedures.
You can't really be bending down all the time either. Especially if the doc keeps the pt reclined far back , this is going to be a killer on your back!

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DentalGURU2009 in Richmond, Illinois

37 months ago

Gracie in Tallahassee, Florida said: Question.....does anyone find it more effective to stand up while assisting?

Well, I guess it depends on the procedure. Some docs prefer to stand during "tough" extractions. Then the assistant would stand as well in that case.
Try to have your chair substantially higher than the docs chair. You want to make sure that you have a good view of what you are doing ( no matter the quadrant at the time) Being higher is key. I prefer to sit, but there were some girls in he office that were shorter and lked to stand during procedures.
You can't really be bending down all the time either. Especially if the doc keeps the pt reclined far back , this is going to be a killer on your back!

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DentalGURU2009 in Richmond, Illinois

37 months ago

Gracie in Tallahassee, Florida said: Question.....does anyone find it more effective to stand up while assisting?

Well, I guess it depends on the procedure. Some docs prefer to stand during "tough" extractions. Then the assistant would stand as well in that case.
Try to have your chair substantially higher than the docs chair. You want to make sure that you have a good view of what you are doing ( no matter the quadrant at the time) Being higher is key. I prefer to sit, but there were some girls in he office that were shorter and lked to stand during procedures.
You can't really be bending down all the time either. Especially if the doc keeps the pt reclined far back , this is going to be a killer on your back!

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jrhargis in Lufkin, Texas

35 months ago

I will graduate DA School in September and I just started at a small practice of General Dentistry. I am on my third day and I feel like i am not getting the HVE down. Could it be that I am left handed? Will this come in time? Am I overreacting for a third day on the job? Just need a few answers if possible.

THanks

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Ocala, FL

35 months ago

jrhargis in Lufkin, Texas:

Don't worry! This will come in time :) Left handed-ness may turn out to benefit you in the end. I had the hardest time, with everything it seems, when I first started as well, but I think I'm improving well since the dentist asks for me more and more...Congrats on pending graduation! Did you take a twelve month course? How is the payscale for assistants in Texas? I would love to talk to you about your training (I plan on entering school the 22nd for certification & mastery of burs, etc.) maybe via email? I hope to hear from you soon!

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jrhargis in Lufkin, Texas

35 months ago

I took a fast paste 10 week coarse program its on saturdays in Houston I drive 2 Hours to go to and from school. 8-5. I really enjoy the school and the people I am working with i know the saying goes you either get it or you dont. I hope to catch on soon! Thanks for the reply. As far as the pay goes I wanted more and probably will get more after 90 days. But anything to get my foot in the door had to be ok with me. They tell us at school we should be asking for 12-13 an hr. But I just hope to make close to that around my 90 days! In Houston that is what I beleive they are probably paying starting out. Good Luck to you at school!

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Ocala, FL

35 months ago

Oh cool, & thanks for being so open in your post! :) Very helpful & informative...Hmm...I will keep that 90 day thing in mind when I seek employment after school...I do know that once you have been working in the field for two or so years you are eligible to take DANB boards...these help build your resume/status as a DA (as well as being Rad certified and cert. in expanded functions) which help you get a couple of dollars more per hour :) Congrats!

(I have heard from a certified DA who encouraged me to take 10wk course that dentists don't really care if they're assistants are certified or not when seeking employees, but like any healthcare job, if the individual cares enough to work in it, they would be proud to show their dedication & respect for Dental Assisting by being part of an elite status of the DANB...plus the raise!)

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Lavanda in New Port Richey, Florida

35 months ago

I've been assisting for 3 years now for the same doctors. I
did my internship with them and than they hired me when i was done with my hours. After only 1,5 they made me Lead Dental Assistant. Know your doctors routine, be always 2 steps ahead of them. That's what i do. I have 2 compliantly different doctors. And like was already said here, basically be a Dentist, know everything they know.

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kristin8665 in Mesquite, Texas

29 months ago

2yearsda in Syracuse, New York said: The first place I trained, my DA trainer had made a little wire-bound book of memo cards that would fit in her scrubs pocket, containing the needed contents for each procedure, ex.

Amalgam restoration: amalgam capsules, amal. carrier, ball burnisher, condenser, acorn, carver, articulating paper, matrix band, tofflemire, floss, amal. well, syringe, lido, topical, gauze, cotton rolls, mirror/explorer/cotton pliers, burs, handpiece(s), 3way syringe tip....etc. Same for everything else: composite, crown prep, rct... it really helped, all I had to do was just go down the checklist. Give it a try! And carry lots of pens on you for note-taking. If Doc says he wants a #6 round bur for starting a rct every time, write it down. Its those little details you remember that'll make your doc love you.

Hope this helps!

This is a great idea!!

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kristin8665 in Mesquite, Texas

29 months ago

I went to an expensive 11 week course. I felt like they didn't cover things like packing cord, setting up trays for different procedures, etc, so I really feel like I did not get my money's worth. I already had some previous dental experience but it's old experience. Now I've been out of school since Sept and got my Nitrous certification and no one wants to hire me. I have been on many interviews but it seems like here they only want younger people, or people who are outspoken or bulldoze over other people and not the ones with the good personalities who aren't going to run the patients off. I make sure to have eye contact in the interviews and to be confident but I am just not having any luck. Any advice on how to get hired? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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kristin8665 in Mesquite, Texas

29 months ago

Stephanie in Snellville, Georgia said: I don't recomend this profession to anyone any more. It has acutaly stated to feel very physical on the body. I'm 42 now and get tired easily now days. Not a great job for someone in my age range. Maybe for young girls freash out of school. I just don't like being talked to sometimes like I don't know what i'm doing just because the Dr. is in a bad mood and doesn't feel like working. Just having a bad day i guess. Good Luck.

I'm 46 and still trying to get my foot in the door but I understand how that is. Some Drs just make you feel bad.

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Cathy in Katy, TX in Katy, Texas

29 months ago

I just graduated from Dental Assisting school in December. I then went on to an externship for 2 months. Since then I have had 3 working interviews, but no work yet. When I work for a small office they say you need to work for a large office where there are more dental assistants who can pick up the slack. I called a large office and they said they are to fast paced. I really have learned a lot and feel all that I need is practice and experience. I'm getting frustrated as it is taking longer than I thought to find a job. I'm not afraid to take a full FMX, but haven't done digital x-rays. Does anyone have an idea about where it would be good to get started. What is the best way to find a job?
Thank you,
Cathy

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Pmteducator in Allen, Texas

27 months ago

Cathy in Katy, TX in Katy, Texas said: I just graduated from Dental Assisting school in December. I then went on to an externship for 2 months. Since then I have had 3 working interviews, but no work yet. When I work for a small office they say you need to work for a large office where there are more dental assistants who can pick up the slack. I called a large office and they said they are to fast paced. I really have learned a lot and feel all that I need is practice and experience. I'm getting frustrated as it is taking longer than I thought to find a job. I'm not afraid to take a full FMX, but haven't done digital x-rays. Does anyone have an idea about where it would be good to get started. What is the best way to find a job?
Thank you,
Cathy

This industry is very saturated. And yes, most doctors are looking for younger assistants. One dentist told me that he prefer young assistants fresh out of school who display/posses potential so that he can mold/train the to his specification. The problem I have with his statement is that if an assistant posses a teachable trait, then they are a good assistant at any age unless they have physical challenges which can hinder their physical performance. He is entitled to his own preferences since it is his practice, however just because an assistant is older and maybe more mature should not make a significant difference.
In all actuality, it is hard to find reasonable paying jobs as a dental assistant in Texas. Maybe, when you find employment, try to expand you experience/skills by learning dental billing, insurance, front office, etc. Therefore, you can add more experience to your resume' and apply for various positions in the dental field.

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Lauren in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

24 months ago

I have been an oral surgeon assistant, his head and mostly only assistant for over 9 yrs. I havent done general dentistry in 10 years. While I learned to become my dr.'s "go to girl" I am nervous about a working interview with a general dentist. I was told to come in for a few hours to "get my feet wet" in general, see if I like it and how much I remember. Any tips to impress. What basics would you like a co worker to be proficient at? Should I jump in and try or hold back and watch? I'm going in for a bridge prep, a crown placement, and several fillings. Even the vocabulary is different from surgery to general. Do I concentrate on studying burrs? The steps of the process for ea. Treatment, the instruments? Please help, I want to impress, this office seems productive, friendly, and efficient!

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FERNANDO DE LA PENA in Los Angeles, California

22 months ago

Hello everyone, I was a dental assistant for almost five years before I received my license to practice dentistry in California. I am not only practicing today I am also teaching Dental Assisting. I do have a few pearls to share. I hope this helps and good luck:
Don’t wait, do!
Think chess, plan your move several steps ahead of the dentist.
In setting up, run through the procedure in your mind and figure out what’s missing.
Don’t stand or walk around, always look busy.
Don’t over-familiarize with the dentist, he’s still the boss!
If in doubt, just get it ready, if the dentists asks for it then it’s right beside you.
When there’s nothing to do, remind yourself that there’s always something to do (Organize, clean, check inventory, etc.).
Don’t just sit at your assistant’s chair doing nothing, at least hold the suction, this shows the dentist that you’re “always ready” to help!
If you think the x-rays suck, the dentist will think it sucks as well, take it again, that way he didn’t have to ask you to retake it, you took the initiative to get better results. If it’s still a bad exposure, you could at least tell the dentist you tried more than once. It’s better than presenting a one-take, just to get it over with, lousy shot.
Ask the dentist why he likes certain materials/tools for certain procedures that way you’re better prepared. Different dentists have different styles. This is why every office is different. Don’t expect Dr. A to have the same set-up as Dr. B even for the same procedure.
A great personality often compromises for an incomplete set-up! If you’re missing something just be apologetic and go to the back and grab the missing item right away and learn a lesson, try not to miss the same item next set up.
Don’t use words such as “oops, oh no, sorry, OMG, etc.” during operative procedures! The patients are smarter than you think, they observe everything, even sudden opening of your eyes in disbelief!
Talk to the patients but limit the topic to hi’

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FERNANDO DE LA PENA in Los Angeles, California

22 months ago

Talk to the patients but limit the topic to hi’s, hello’s and how are you’s. Avoid very private topics such as divorce or other emotionally-charged issues.
Be able to answer the patient’s question intelligently without crossing the borders of diagnosis.
Turn your cell phones off during procedures. Many dentists and patients are annoyed by constantly ringing assistant phones.
If a nurse won’t go into an OR without masks and goggles, why should you? If you will not protect yourself, who will?
OSHA was established not to add to the burden of dental offices but to protect healthcare workers like yourself! Think “Universal Precautions” all the time!!! One mistake is all you need!
If you’re wearing gloves and you have to open a cabinet, take your gloves off. This goes for picking up a chart, the phone, a pen, etc. Think of yourself as the patient, would you want fingers that just touched a drawer inside your mouth?
Keep everything clean. Sit on the dental chair, what you see, the patients see. Is there blood on the handpiece connector? Is there prophy paste on the light handles?
Dentistry is still a team effort. Be part of the team, contribute no matter how little and don’t be a weak link.
Keep in mind that your job is to help the dentist deliver excellent dental care and keep a clear operative field of view. Not to set up and suction!
Create a nice work environment by being positive… smile! You can only do this by loving what you do and remember, if you enjoy it, it stops becoming “work”.

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Holly in American Fork, Utah

17 months ago

Thanks for these great tips! My sister has been working as a dental assistant for a few years but is just starting a new job as an assistant to an <a href="www.imaginedentalarizona.com/our-services/endodontics/">endodontist in Phoenix</a> and she is so nervous! I hope that there aren't too many differences in the job and that she catches on quickly, but I'll definitely show her this list to give her some confidence. Thanks again!

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Jackie in Crystal Lake, Illinois

16 months ago

Hi everyone! Im starting a dental assistant program in about a week and im just curious as to what i should expect? How difficult is it? Will there be lots of studying etc. Thanks!

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Judy in Makawao, Hawaii

11 months ago

Hi I was hired with no experience and trained on the job as a dental assistant for an office ran by family. (Wife manager and two dentist's husband and son.) Then a dental assistant of 12 years there. I was first trained by the assistant (whom left on a vacation two weeks in on the job. ) and then trained by the son (30 years old, five years experienced dentist) He was so nice and they all treated me like family until two months went by and I was let go, because of to many mistakes that the young dentist didn't want to worry about the next mistake. I would forget the operating light here and there, I didn't notice the A/W tip was leaking water on the floor, during a procedure It took me four tries to get the A/W syringe to spray, and at closing on the dental unit I forgot to empty the water from the high speed hand piece hose, at different times or days. I have to admit something was always not right. Still I smiled and apologized, and said it won't happen again. I did manage to take perfect digital FMX and BW x- rays, I started to notice his favorite instruments, ready topical and local anesthetic, assist in rubber dam placement, correctly mixed cements, I knew his favorite burs for TCR's, and he commended me on how well I worked with the patients. I was able to help the patients feel comfortable and I was gentle in their mouth.
So, how do I get hired again? Is there any hope being hired as a dental assistant? I am taking a vocational course "Introduction to Dental Assisting Enhanced" by U.S. Career Institute. It is a four month to a year course. And so far my GPA is 90%.
Previously I was laid off from a medical clinic of 21 and 1/2 years as a medical records/ front desk clerk last and did other job titles with in the group such as: X- ray front desk, scheduling, and medical office assistant.
What do write on my résumé to get and interview?

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Judy in Makawao, Hawaii

11 months ago

Jackie in Crystal Lake, Illinois said: Hi everyone! Im starting a dental assistant program in about a week and im just curious as to what i should expect? How difficult is it? Will there be lots of studying etc. Thanks!

For me it was easy. I had no idea what to expect too. The hands on trying is the most important. Such as: sterilization, tray setups, transferring of instruments to the dentist, radiology, and impressions.
The dentist you work for will have his own style and favorite instruments, so stuff taught might different, but you'll have the basic idea.
Study when you are most rested and have a clear mind with positive thinking.

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Lucky in Scarborough, Ontario

6 months ago

I have 10 years of experience in dental assisting. I was working only part-time for about 3 years because I was thinking of doing my own business. It is not working, so I wanted to go full time in dental assisting. Now the problem is the associate dentist is picking on my X-rays and says there are placement errors , overlapping and X-rays are too black, or too light... She also compares me with another assistant in the office, saying B does like this, B does like that...It is now ruining my confidence. I am happy to work with the owner dentist, but I have to work one day a week with this associate. I want to do a good job. I considered myself as a good dental assistant. Now I am losing my confidence. Any suggestions from my fellow assistants to reduce the stress while working with this associate?

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FERNANDO DE LA PENA in Los Angeles, California

6 months ago

Hello Lucky! I will respond to your question as a dentist/employer/assistant/owner all rolled into one because I am all those. Anywhere you go you will meet dentists who are like how you described. You're lucky you only work with this person once a week, for others it's a daily thing. Focus on correcting the errors that she is nitpicking at and try to involve her in the process by asking her questions like "What is the angulation that you recommend? How would you process this? What suggestions do you have so I can do it the way you want?" this way, she feels that she also "owns" the problem instead of blaming it on you, after all, you are a team, right? Now, once the "problem" is fixed, don't forget to say things like "Doc, thanks for helping me out!" or "Doc, thanks to your suggestion I'm taking better x-rays" or something to that nature and you will gradually see a difference in her attitude towards you but this things take time. As long as you keep the big guy happy you'll be okay. Do not lose your confidence because you can please some people some of the time but it is impossible to please all the people all the time. Remember this Lucky, you are not only a good assistant, you are also a good person! By writing here and asking for suggestions, you already expressed your desire to do a better job and to please people which is what dentists are looking for.

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Lucky in Scarborough, Ontario

6 months ago

Hi Fernando De LaPena, Thank you for your suggestions. Those are great. I am going to try them next time i work with this dentist. Thank you

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Dental Assistant Training Site in California

5 months ago

Fawn in Merced, California said: Thanks! I have a really good feeling about this place. I'm just wondering what I will be doing. Do you have an idea of what I could be doing next week?? I know they dont expect me to know where everything is, so im sure they will make sure I do learn where everything is. i'm very excited and nervous. but thanks for the advice! Its good to know that there are understanding people out there in the dental field. :)

Hi Fawn,

There is an ebook written by a dentist that has done lots of hiring. He explains just what they're looking for in an assistant, and how you can make the best impression and also the most money. Check it out at www.dentalassistanttrainingsite.com/ultimate-dental-assistant-manual-to-find-a-job-you-love-and-make-more-money Good luck to you!

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Lucky in Scarborough, Ontario

5 months ago

If you are looking for help for bitewings, these are so excellent ones by a dental assistant dentalassistantlife.com/
FERNANDO DE LA PENA has few tips above. Those are great ones.

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