Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dental assistant's story of a new Scrub

To work, we, dental Assistants need scrubs. Recently, I started going to Mark's work Wearhouse 
I love their scrubs. The stitching is nice and the style, awesome!

The price is a bit more than what I love to spend. Yet, I wanted something to make feel good while I am working. Tried a few scrubs to find the one I love. I really love the people working in the store. When I bought the first pair, I received the "Scrub Club" card. It works like this: If I buy 5 from them on regular price, I can get the 6th one free. The "Health Pro" scrubs were my style. 

The following months, I went back to the store and bought more. 
Bright pink, grey, blue...Now I have filled all the 5 stickers on my card. Each time, I am getting a discount card to be used for next time. That makes me visit the store again and again. ( I love the store any way, right?)

Now, let me tell you what happened with my last pair of scrubs. It was perfect and i was glad to own it. 
At work, the dentist asked me to get the Pridex rince. It was kept underneath the sterilizer unit, in the lower shelf. While I was sitting on the floor to get it in a cup, the scrub pants went low. I didn't realize it. My back was clearly visible to the patient sitting on the chair in the treatment room. My dentist, who happened to see it, later told me secretly about the incident. 
Yes, DAs, it is very embarrassing... Now my question is how can we let the "Health Pro" know about our concern about the scrub pants...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Do dentists really trained to work with assistants?

North America, dentists hire dental assistants to help them. The assistant is anticipating what the dentist might need next in delivering treatments. This co-ordinated working makes the procedure done faster and effectively. It helps the dentist to concentrate on the tooth they are working. This is also helpful in reducing the dentists fatigue. 

Then why dental assistants are taken for granted? 

Let us look into that:  One assistant told me she trained in India as a dentist and was working there several years. They did not have dental assistants. They don't have the high volume suction in the office. The patient has to get up and spit in between. The dentist does everything during the treatment. There is no one to help them keep the area dry or to adjust the light. They see fewer patients than an average North American dentist. To those dentists, a  dental assistant, is just another person to be paid and they don't value the skills of the assistant. 

The DA schools will teach us the transferring of instruments and how to retrieve the used instruments. But, what if the dentist is not used to giving back the instrument? 

I just passed the condenser for plugging the composite. Then, while transferring the burnisher, I am supposed to retrieve the condenser. But, what if the dentist just put it on the tray and grab burnisher from me? If there is a second tooth to be filled, I have to extend my hand over the patient to grab everything back from the tray. It is decreasing my efficiency and thereby slowing the dentist. 

Now I am left to wonder, didn't they got trained in their school with assistants?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bitter experiences in Dental Assisting

In the last post we tried to show the Dentist's point of view of a perfect dental assistant.
Now let us discuss about the Dentists, I worked for over the years.

 In the past I worked with dentists who believe there is no need to talk or appreciate a dental assistant. Then there was the one who don't like to respond to an enthusiastic, cheerful "Good morning Doctor". 
Then I had more than one  Dr.X who never want to pay the staff. They conveniently forgot the pay days. Then they changed the biweekly pay days to once a month, because, it is too much wastage of check leafs. Many do not like to print the pay slip, because "it is just a waste of paper, right"? 

I worked with one Dr.X, who has an office in upscale area. I was told, the office cannot give me a rise, because I cannot clean the aquarium without help. 
Then there is one who talks about money in every other sentence. For example, "people buy costumes and candy for halloween, it is just a waste of money right?" But, then, "I do take my kids for trick or treating", because "it is just for the kids". 
You will know when you have a mistake, but you will never know when you did something really right in that office. 

Another Dr.X was more interesting. The dentist who hugs and bullies... You never know what is going to come the next moment. With a high employee turnover, the dentist is still thinking why the assistants are not staying for long....

Let me tell you, I never offered medical or dental insurance in any of these offices. 
On the ODAA facebook page I have seen one assistant mentioned about the benefits. Like one of my receptionist friend said, "when you retire, and getting out of the office, we will give you a kick from your back, to help you get out faster."

I will tell you about the better experiences from dental office in one of the future postings. 

Now, do you wish to share any of your experience? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dentist's view of Good Dental Assistant

I was looking on the web for articles about dental assistants. 
I came across one question on Yahoo answers:
The question is "What makes a person a good dental Assistant". A dentist answered the following
"Obviously, personality goes a long way. Your personality should be similar to that of the doctor with whom you work. If you're loud and rambunctious and your doctor is quiet and reserved, he/she will not like you. 

Appearance is important. If you look like a punk, you'll be treated like one and your stay in the practice will be short-lived. We run a doctor's office, and our staff should dress and carry themselves accordingly.

Ability is also paramount. Some assistants don't know where to put the suction and don't know how to retract the cheek. Furthermore, some assistants are great at keeping the doctor's mirror clean. Others are terrible in that respect. Furthermore, a good dental assistant will never let the doctor "work underwater". Being skilled at keeping the tooth dry is of paramount importance.

Knowing how to take good x-rays. Unless the practice uses digital x-rays, an assistant who has to repeat x-rays is more of a detriment to the doctor than a help. Simply "getting" the tooth on the film isn't enough. The tooth shouldn't be elongated or shortened much in the film.

Knowing your instruments. There are few things more frustrating than asking an assistant for a Potts or a Woodson Periostial during a difficult surgery case and receiving a blank stare. When you start in your new practice, learn the names of all of the instruments ASAP, and know what they are used for. Do whatever you can to memorize this stuff. I work with assistants who have been in the practice longer than I have and STILL don't know some of the things I ask for. It's annoying, and it's shameful. But I love the ones who know the instruments and their uses.

Having things set-up properly. Don't cut corners. If your doctor is doing endo, have everything set up. It's exquisitely annoying when I reach for the endo handpiece and, oops, it's not there. Or when I'm placing a composite filling and, oops, the curing light isn't there.

Never pass blame on to someone else. That kind of nonsense doesn't fly with us. We don't care who forgot to replace the burs in the bur block, and we don't care who forgot to re-stock the anesthetic in that operatory. If you're assisting with the procedure, it's YOUR responsibility to make sure that everything we need is there.

Show initiative, and take responsibility for the upkeep of the operatories. I cannot tell you how many times I've worked on patients where I had no light coming from the handpiece because the bulbs on the hoses burned out. If I didn't mention it to the assistants, I could work for 10 years before any of them noticed it. Look around and see what needs to be fixed, replaced, cleaned, etc. You are the ones who keep us running smoothly.

NEVER try to diagnose patients. Some of the more experienced (or gutsy) assistants try. They seem to think that over the years they've heard us say to patients pretty-much everything there is to know about the science of dentistry, and therefore able to usurp some of the diagnostic responsibility. When you try to diagnose, you are going to be partially wrong or completely wrong on anything that isn't just plain obvious...even if you're an experienced assistant. When the doctor comes in and gives the patient the diagnosis, the patient responds, "but your assistant said.....". We hate that. We don't want our patients being primed with ideas in their heads that we wouldn't want there. Let the doctor do the diagnosing.

Never predict treatments. Never tell a patient "you are probably going to need a root canal on this tooth" unless the doctor told you to inform the patient. I've had assistants do this and it is patently inappropriate.

Know when to ask for help from the doctor. Some assistants with whom I work will spend up to an hour making a temporary crown when they should have asked me for help 45 minutes earlier. We don't mind helping you with such things. We don't expect you to be able to do such things all the time. We'd rather see it done right, regardless of who does it.

General attitude. As long as you're not a complete air-head, your attitude towards your work goes a long way. If you don't give a s**t, it's going to be evident to us.

That list above is pretty complete. Now, don't think that I'm a complete jerk because of this list. I treat my assistants very well, and take them out to lunch almost every week....whether they do a good job or not!"

Source :
I think this is very good for all assistants who want to do an excellent job. A dentist must be the best one to talk about the qualities of a good assistant.
Me and Bindu love comments. So, please go ahead and say what you think.
In the future posts we will discuss about my own dental assisting experiences and what do I like to see in a good boss.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tofflemire and Matrix bands: Tips for Dental Asstiants.

In Toothtalkings, let us talk about tofflemire and matrix bands today.
In restorative dentistry, all dental assistants are familiar with the use of matrix bands. We prepare the tofflemire and band when dentist is doing a posterior interproximal cavity. The band will create the interproximal wall and thereby prevent the composite or amalgam from coming in contact with the adjacent tooth.

When I got job with present Dr.X, I could tell, the previous assistant was not so sure about the tofflemires from the way the matrix bands were prepared in the restorative tub. So, when I got invited to be the writer of this blog, I thought, I would write about that. 

The picture below is a regular matrix band.

You can use a ball burnisher to contour the band before placing in the holder. Just use the burnisher to rub in the middle of the band. This will give a thinner interproximal wall when placed on the tooth. Do I have to say it will be more comfortable for the doctor to place it? 

Now, let us see how they look when placed properly in the Tofflemire or matrix band holder. 

I found this video helpful in placing the matrix band in the holder.
The picture above shows how to prepare it for different quadrants. 
My tip for Dental assistants is:
1.When you hold the holder with the slot facing up, if it resembles small letter "p" it is for quadrant 1 or quadrant 3.
If it seems like a small letter "q", it is for quadrant 2 or quadrant 4. 
2. Have a wedge ready to go after handling the holder to your dentist.

The video below is also useful. It shows the contra angle holder, which is useful if your dentist like to place the band lingually. 

How do you like this post? Whatever you think, please share it through comments. 
Remember, we won't use matrix band with IRM fillings.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Taking impression for Crown using putty and light body

In the last post, I was very excited about helping Dr.X for the Post and core. Now, I want to write about waht I have to do while the DDS is doing a crown preparation.
This is a video I found on youtube. In the dental office, there is a difference though. 

We use regular set light body. Dr.X doesn't use spacer. We do one step impression. 
Usually alginate impression is taken before crown prep. If a temporary crown is going to be made, the mould will be made as well.
Once the crown is prepared, Dr.X places a gingival retraction cord.  For the molars, it is usually one round around my thumb and for anteriors one round around my little finger, I just figured out.
If you have any other method of figuring the length of the cord, please share it.
 (I know, I am getting some views, but not sure it is from dental assistants though. So, dear readers, please share your ideas, if you don't mind).
When the dentist is packing the cord, I make the light body material ready to use.( we use the gun. So I load the cartridge and put a tip). Then the putty will be placed on a a paper pad with equal amount of base and catalyst. Before opening the putty, make sure to change the latex gloves and put vinyl gloves. (Putty won't set if mixed wearing latex gloves, right?)

I usually will have the same size tray used for the alginate impression, ready for the final impression. When the DDS gives the go ahead signal, start mixing the putty. ( I don't want to forget the cotton rolls....)Dr.X loves to get an indentation on the putty, as in the video. Dr.X place some of the light body in that indentation too. Then place the tray and take impression.
While the impression is getting set, I can make the lab box ready. The alginate impressions are wrapped in a wet paper towel and placed in a zip lock bag before putting in the box. When the putty impression is good to go, just spray the disinfectant on it and wash with water. Some dentists wanted to take bite registration with wax and some wants to take with another material. Send all impressions and bite registration to the lab.

Now, if they are making a temp crown, they are going to start now. So, I will have my temporary cement like tembond ready. Of course, articulating paper to check the bite is needed. 
Once again the steps are:
1. Alginate impression, Mould for temp. crown
2. crown prep.
3. Retraction cord placing
4. Final impression
5. Bite registration
6. making temporary crown
7. Cementing temporary crown
8. Checking bite registration
9.Prepare the lab box.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Post and Core

I would like to tell you the story of a post and core. 
Actually, it was a great fun experience. 
I know, you are raising your eyebrows , " you were having fun in assisting????"

Yes, that is me. I can find fun in many ways. (I was not laughing loudly though). My new Dr.X was doing a post and core. Actually the tooth got RCT done a long time before. Now, the tooth is broken. So, a post and core is necessary before the crown.

I am much familiar with Dr.X's fillings and extractions. But, this is the first time she is doing a post and core with me. So, it must be hard on her to ask for everything...

First Dr.X removed some of the GP. I was pretty sure that she needed a heated instrument to remove the GP and may be going to take couple of Xrays to make sure how much she needs to remove. 
I was also sure that she might needs the GGs. When she asked for all of those things, I patted myself, "Atta Girl, Me!!".

The patient was a very chatty one and very comfortable with the treatment. In between, he just asked me what I am doing and how I learned to do what I was doing. I was happy to explain about my schooling and the my duties in the office. 

Dr.X decided to use metal post and composite core. Since I was pretty sure about Dr.X's favourite filling instruments, it was easy too.
I am glad to tell you that it was a successful procedure. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Introduction to tooth fairy

I love the kids who visit the dental office.  With a little chit chat with the kids is very pleasing for the dental assistant. Guess, most of you like that.

In North america, most children know about Tooth Fairy. When the baby tooth fells off, they get money from the Tooth Fairy. Toronto, having a lot of immigrants, some times I get the chance to introduce the fairy to them.
Recently, when Dr.X was chatting with the mother, I got such an opportunity. The pulpotomy failed and the next option is extraction. While Dr.X, (the associate dentist) was busy explaining to the parent, I was telling the kid about the fortune Tooth Fairy can bring. She told me she never tried giving the tooth to the Fairy yet.
Now the kid is very excited about getting the extraction done. She is going to keep the tooth under her pillow to get money. 

This particular location of office is not my regular work place. The mom was giving me the evil look and I know she is not that fond of the Fairy. Anyway, the child is going to come next week for the extraction. I will not be there on that day.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lidocaine 2%: How dentist finds out how much to use

Without knowing details about the dentistry, the assistant can survive. I need to know the dentists' choice of instruments for the usual procedures and how to sterilize everything along with taking the X-rays ordered by the dentist. 

Sometimes, I can be just curious to know how can you understand how much is too much anesthetic and things like that. I don't dare to ask such questions to Dr.X anyway. As the X indicates, the Dr.X mentioned in the blog is not one particular dentist, I think, you must know.

Now, let me assume the child on the chair is just 60 pounds.
That is the child has weight of  (60X1/2.2) =27.27kg

Maximum dose of Lidocaine is 4.4mg/kg.

Weight of child X maximum dose = 27.27kgX4.4mg/kg=120mg 
One carpule of2%= 20mg/ccX1.8cc = 36mg

Maximum no. of carpules can be used = 120mg/36mg, which can be rounded to 3 carpules.


Miserable life of a tooth.

The patient was nervous... I saw his hands were trembling. 
The usual chit chats to the new patients is not working, I could clearly see that.

The dentist hasn't yet finished writing the notes in the previous patient's chart and the receptionist is waiting to ask something about the procedure codes. That and the instruments needed to go to the Statim is making me more pathetic along with the sweating new patient. 

Asking questions about his teeth may make him talk. Before I even ask him about it, he blurted out, "I have pain on my this tooth", pointing to the upper right side 2nd molar. Mentally I was telling to myself, I must be ready to take 17 PA. Then told the patient,  Dr. X will be with him soon and will do something to help. I could clearly see the stained teeth and can be sure, he never get a cleaning done. The smell from the mouth was another thing. 

Dr.X decided to take out the tooth after discussing the options by presenting the X-ray. The nervous patient going to have an extraction... That is going to be interesting...
 I don't have to worry about it. I am just an assistant, makings things ready is my job. A short and Lidocaine; I don't want to annoy Dr.X and the next patient. So, when the word extraction fall in to the room, I had the short on the syringe. Lidocaine carpule was placed in the syringe just before he finished it. I felt very proud of me. (Who said I can't appreciate myself!!!)
The forceps, the elevators.gauze....The tooth was not a trouble at all to come out. 
Dr.X placed it on the white tray paper on the counter as usual. It looked like it was so happy to be out of the moth. With the dark tartar around it, it was telling the story of working hard and taken for granted. It was attacked by the acid, and eaten by bacteria. The gums once protecting it was giving up on it. The plaque turned in to tartar and started slowly suffocating it. Now, the end is here!!!!

It might not ever got a gentle brushing experience, I could tell from the abrasion mark on it. It never saw a piece of floss, I thought.  May be it is saying last farewell to the mouth and wishing good luck to the rest of the teeth...It looked so pathetic against the white paper. When scooping it along with the paper to throw with other biohazard waste, I sent a prayer to the tooth and apologized that it is not my call to instruct the patient about brushing and flossing. Not at least today, not right now, in this office....
I sorry tooth, I am not doing any favour for your previous neighbours. Really I am sorry.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

DIY Dental Filling

I saw this video the other day. It is about Dentidrill. How the mother does the filling at home ... Just watch it.

It looks so easy on the video. In reality, how many parents struggle to just brush the kids teeth properly? 

I am just wondering, what will happen, if the  mother, who is not trained to do the job, make a mistake by removing too much of the tooth structure? What if the child accidentally close mouth?

I just know that I am not ready for the DIY dentistry yet. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dental Office with wiFi

I was just browsing the web on the other day. Obviously, I got interested in new things about dentistry. That is when I stumbled on the idea of dentists providing free WiFi for patients. 

Since most coffee shops, restaurants and many other businesses are giving free WiFi, why not dental offices too, right?

I think, it will be great and patients will love it. By the way, the staff will also love to use the free WiFi. Who doesn't love to have quick look on Facebook during lunch time(if you have one)?

It can be used to advertise the special cosmetic services offered by the office too. 

When there is a family dental appointment, patients will be especially thankful for the service. Think about a typical young family. The naughty pre schooler can be comforted by a game on dad's smart phone, while the older sibling is getting a cleaning. 

How is it going to work out for the dentists in Ontario? Are they allowed to charge more for the  extra service? Let us wait and see... 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dental Assistants and Lunch time

There is a Facebook page for Ontario Dental Assistants Association.  I have seen a discussion there about the DA's lunch time.

Many busy offices, do not schedule lunch time for assistants. The law requires to give half hour break if the work day is five hours or more. 
On the Facebook page, many said, they just munch on some thine, while running around to finish the work. 

I was given unpaid lunch time in one of the offices. The funny thing was, while I was unpaid, I was not allowed to leave the work place and was required to work during that time. Long story short, I am not working there anymore. 

At my new place, I get time to have my lunch. Reading many of the comments on the Facebook, I know, I am just better off.

Why you are not getting the time to have lunch? 

Monday, October 28, 2013

7 tips for cavity prevention during Halloween

Halloween is coming closer! Trick or treaters are getting ready for fun and candies!
And parents are worried about the kids oral health. 

So here are some tips to prevent cavities during this season.

Many researchers suggest that cavities are caused by bacteria which produce acid in the presence of fermented carbohydrates or, sugars. Prevent this from happening by:

1. Letting kids eat candy for limited times of the day. Don't let them eat candies throughout the day.

2. Try to avoid hard and sticky candies (lollipops,gummy bears etc) because they stick on the chewing surface of the teeth, or may chip them. 

3. Stick to more easily meltable sweets.

4. Let them eat crunchy fruits like apples and crunchy veggies like celery after eating candy in order to remove the sugar from the teeth.

5. Make sure kids do proper brushing and flossing.

6. Check for new white spots on the tooth. If any, make sure to get examined by dentist before it gets bigger.

7. And if it's possible, try to get sugar free candy.

Have a happy and safe Halloween with a healthy smile!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to mount full mouth X-rays in dental office

If I am working in a new dental office and asked to take a Full Mouth series of X-rays, my first question will be, how many films are your FMX series.
The number of X-rays in a FMX series depends on the dentists' preference. So, it can be 14 or 16 ....
Some offices really want the mandibular canines exposed 
In some offices, FMX is 16 while others it is just 10. I am not sure about why it is like that and how they charge for it. All I know is, in the chart, they will write a code for that. 

Anyways, we just get the required X-rays the dentist ask for. When I was a beginner Dental assistant, it was a big hard task to mount the FMX. It is not that difficult now. 

 There is a dot on the film, right? We are going to mount the films labially and these dots are going to face us.

I usually separate the bitewing X-rays first. Then mount them. If you have a FMX mount, then it is easy. 
Many offices have only the Universal X-ray mounts
I usually mount the patients right side molar first and mount all the maxillary radiographs on the top pockets. The mandibular X-rays on the lower pockets. 
Now, if you forget how to know the left and right, remember the curve of spree and  patients right is your left.  

One dentist insisted on a special method of film placement and mounting technique. The dots, or the pimples should be towards the midline when we place them in the mouth. Then when you mount them, it is just a breeze. Only problem is some of the dots are on the gingival side instead of being on the incisal edge. But, hey, it is the choice of the boss.

I like this video But, it cannot be embedded.I found this one with 20 films.

If you are preparing for Dental Assisting radiology exam or for NDAEB certification, this page on bisecting technique will be helpful for studying. 

Other helpful pages for exam prep are

3. I haven't explored it fully. guess, you can create flashcards there.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Premolar bitewing positioning Digital X-ray

Radiographs are very important diagnostic tools in dentistry. 

I was looking for some tips to take the bitewing X-rays with digital sensors.
The molar bitewings are easier to me. I have difficulty with bicuspids usually. 

I didn't get much help with the above video though. The out of the circle placement of the PID is not shown clearly. Did any one understand it correctly? The comments being disabled, there is no way to ask for clarification.

The main difficulty is to get the half of the canine on the X-ray. The sensor being bulky, patients complain it is hard to close the mouth. 

Right now, with digital X-rays, I am trying to say "close gently" instead of "bite".  With just change of words, I am getting less complaints. 
To keep the sensor safe, I try to wrap the wire on the arm of the holder too. Wish, some one comes up with more practical tips...

Monday, October 21, 2013

IRM/ZOE Dental Fillings and Tips for Dental Assistants

We all know intermediate restorative materials like ZOE comes with measuring spoon and dropper for the liquid.

The smell of eugenol is pleasing to me. Yet, it was not a pleasant experience to mix when the measuring spoon is permanently absent in one of my part-time places

That tiny thing is very useful to measure the powder. Without it, eyeballing the powder and mixing it to the consistency is really hard

The assistant working there full time seems to love it that way and she gets everything right too. 
If you need some kind of help, first you look online, right?

Sure enough, there are videos. There are helpful articles. 
I found an article on columbia university website.
While, it says to roll the mixed cement in to a long roll, my boss wanted to get it rolled in to a ball. 
The following video shows how to mix it properly.

I kind of eyeballed the powder and placed it exactly like they did.
Then, mixing very carefully, incorporating increments of powder to make the desired consistency.
Now, I can mix the ZOE for temporary fillings without much difficulty. This video is a great reference. 

The dentist (my boss) liked to shape and clean the filling with a wet cotton tipped applicator. 

To do a further more research about this intermediate restorative dental material is not going to hurt me. So, I decided to have a look on the contents. 
It has the smell of clove oil. The Eugenol is extracted from the clove oil. 
So, when they use ZOE as a temporary filling material?
The tooth must have a deep decay, which is almost touching the nerve. If they do drill for cavity preparation, the pulp will be infected. The tooth will be a sure candidate for RCT. The temporary placement of ZOE will help the tooth to heel and a final filling can be done.

Tip for Assistants:
Just remember that dentists usually don't use matrix bands, even if the cavity is interproximal and huge, for the IRM/ZOE fillings.
What is the reason?
The material is putty like. So, when removing the matrix band, the filling will come out with the bank. 
So just remember, when your DDs is doing an IRM filling, never offer a matrix band.

If there is any eye or skin  contact with the material, just wash it off with water. 

ZOE has anaesthetic and antibacterial properties too. 

 Did you know that it was introduced in the 1890s? 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marketing :Dental Style

The dental office receptionist asked the man why he didn't return her calls to make appointment for the denture impressions.

He said he happened to be in prison for hitting and knocking another man's tooth.

The receptionist gave a bunches of business cards to the man and said, "Give out these cards next time you knock off some ones tooth. We really appreciate more patients".

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fun with flossing

I just found these ones on the net. Fun to me.

Scotia Bank slogan with a dental twist.

Mrs. White came to the office for a cleaning and check up. Our hygienist finished her cleaning and X-rays. 

Mrs. White is very a happy funny lady, and does flossing every day. After the cleaning it was time for regular examination by the dentist. By the way, the dentist in charge was a new associate to the practice. 

Being very chatty, Mrs. white told the dentist, she has a gold crown on the upper right side molar. Without losing a beat, the dentist commented, "You are richer than I think".
A simple twist to the Scotia slogan.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Since you like it, you can have it

My friend Cathy is a dental assistant. 

Her boss insists on patient service. The assistants are supposed to do chit chat with the patient and be very friendly.

I am telling you the story, when Cathy started her job in this office.
To make herself valuable, she wanted to be pleasant with the patients. 
The good looking lady in her forties sat on the chair and flashed beautiful smile. Cathy didn't want to miss the opportunity to complement on the pearly whites. 
" Your teeth are nice. You must be taking good care to keep them so pretty".
The patient was asked Cathy, whether she liked the patient's teem. Cathy was like, " I would be happy to have tooth like yours".

Then the patient took out her upper denture and offered to her
"If you like them so much, here, you can have them".

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The New Dental Assistant duties at the office

My friend was looking for a part-time dental job, during the week. 

She found one through Kijiji. (The new place to look for assistant jobs)

Let us call her Pat. Pat is a dental assistant for over a decade. But, some how, she got tired of the dental offices and quit from her full time job. She promised herself not to work full time again in a dental office. 

Things are changing, and now she decided to find one more part time job along with her current weekend gig.  This one will be for a day at a new office.

The first work interview was fine. The dentist liked her. She liked the office. It is new and everything is nice. The dentist will pay only $15. She want to give it a go. Now, when she started her first day, they want her to mop the floor and clean the washroom too. 

Pat told me, it is not great to do the floor too for the same wage. 
She is doing all of their sterilizing, chair side assisting, dental X-ray, pouring the models etc. A janitor service will cost the office more money and dentists are making the assistants to do several non-assistant duties for the cheap wages.

Pat is frustrated. But, she needs the money for the time being. Can you blame Pat for started looking for another gig already?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Do you want coffee?

The dentist I was working with was a lady and her husband was the acting office manager.
 Let us call the husband Mr. Man and the Dentist Dr.Lady.

Dr.Lady is pretty and has a special tone when talks about money. Mr.Man can be very loud sometimes. Both were known for their penny pinching ways. I mean all staff knew it.

When they opened a second office, they wanted the assistants to go and set up the place. When we were there, it was not just setting up, but rather cleaning up the dust and all the things left out by the installation crew. 

After 3 hours of gruelling cleaning, we both were tired and didn't even had drinking water. Then Mr. Man stepped in. He was happy to see we cleaned the place and it is fine. 
ThenMr.Man asked the unexpected question. "Do you want coffee?"

We thought he was happy and is offering coffee in a friendly way. "Would love to" was our answer.
Then he said "Tim Hortons is around the corner"....

I don't want to be your patient

When it is end of August, many teenage patients are ready to move out from their home.

The kids will be excited about their new life, yet a bit worried too. The parents are proud, happy and sad at the same time. 

If the office is not busy, assistant can talk about the university the kids are going to go. 

One such kid, let us call her Missi. Missi's mommy was talking about the expenses. Then we were curious what Missi wanted become. She said she wanted to be a doctor.

Our mostly very quiet receptionist said, "Missi, I want to be your first patient".

Missi replied with a smile, "I am thinking about becoming a psychiatrist"

The Extracted Tooth

"The tooth is aching". The patient complained. 

The dentist was charmingly explaining about options... But, the middle aged patient insisted on extraction. "Just take it out, please"

It is just the time for another extraction.

I like the extractions. I confess, the boss don't like to do many. 

"This one is looking not that complicated, I will do it for you". The dentist said.  So, there, I am a little excited to assist a little different procedure than the regular stuff.

The tooth has a big hole on it. But, still, it can come out as one. 
After the anesthetics (They say, freezing)  are given, the elevators and the forceps are at work.

The tooth, which didn't get much care in its lifetime was stuck with a lot of plaque and the gums were ready to bleed even with the soft touch. 

I just have to hand out clean gauze to soak the blood and give suction to keep the area visible. 
In between, the dentist, being so caught up in the work, left the things on the counter top, which were supposed to be in the tray.
Finally, when the tooth was out, it looked so dull and bloody. It was just laying on the counter on a white tray paper, sadly.
With a hole on it and the bloody root it still had left a little life on it, I thought.

It is supposed to be disgusted... I didn't felt that way at the moment. When it was time discard it, I can't resist to give it a final washing. There you go Tooth, Rest In Peace now!!