If youa��re considering a career as a certified dental assistant, you understand the importance of keeping smiles healthy. And caring for teeth is a lifelong process, involving both home care and dentist visits. However, booking regular appointments can inspire fear and worry in some people, even long after theya��ve lost their baby teeth.
New research shows that about 50 per cent of Canadian adults suffer some degree of dental fear, with about 5 per cent suffering from what industry insiders call severe dental anxietya��a feeling of nervousness that makes each dental appointment tense and terrifying.
If you are planning to enroll in dental assistant courses, or youa��ve recently started your program, read on to learn how you will have a key role in helping people overcome dental anxiety.
Dental Assisting Creates a Safe, Comfortable Environment
A dentista��s office is much more than just the equipment, and making patients comfortable takes more than the right furniture. It is the role of well-trained dental assistants to offer patients the friendly smile and warm engagement that makes the walk to the dental chair as inviting as possible.
For children in particular, a trip to the dentist can be the cause of great anxiety. Dental assistants have to build up a level of trust with each patient, ensuring them that theya��re in good hands.
Once you have earned your diploma, it will be up to you to communicate with each patient in a compassionate way that promotes a calm, controlled atmosphere. Friendly, open communication helps patients to feel safe and relaxed.
Psychological Techniques for Dental Assistants
There are particular techniques you can employ to communicate effectively. The a�?tell-show-doa�� method involves dental assistants first telling patients what they plan to do next, and then showing them the tools they will use, before finally performing the procedure on the patient.
Graduates of dental assistant college programs know that an important part of their work is a�?behaviour management.a�? Showing and telling is just one of the many methods that help these professionals maintain control over a patienta��s behaviour and avoid upsets.
If you pursue dental assistant training, you will also develop the kind and gentle communication skills that will put your patients at ease.
Applying Modern Dental Assisting Technology
A good dental assisting course will give you hands-on training with technology used in todaya��s dental field, from state-of-the-art clinical laboratories to digital radiology equipment and beyond. Some modern technological advances offer specific benefits to anxious patients.
For example, hand-pieces (drills) have become quieter in recent years, making patients feel the procedure is less invasive than before. There are even devices which allow patients to push a button and stop hand-pieces whenever they feel overwhelmeda��a real advantage for people who fear the loss of control that comes with professional dental care. As the dental assisting industry evolves, it is clear that further developments like these will continue to help professionals ease patient anxiety.
Alleviating Anxiety through Sedation
For the patients who truly cannot relax during dental cleanings and procedures, sedation is always an option. When you put your training into practice, you may encounter patients best-suited to sedationa��but only when requested, or when psychological and technological techniques prove ineffective.
If a patient is comfortable with being sedated, an anaesthetic professional can step in and produce a level of sedation so deep that patients can virtually sleep through a dental assistant and dentista��s intervention, easing anxiety entirely.
With the right training, new technology, and a calm and compassionate attitude, you can help patients in your community overcome their fear of the dentista��s office and come to enjoy dental care routines involving professionals like you.
Are you interested in pursuing a dental assistant program? Visit CADH for more information or to speak with an advisor.