When I was offered the position to become a dental assistant, it was like winning the lottery in our small town.
Working for the local dentist was the job every girl wanted and I was the lucky one who got the job!
I knew that it was a chance of a lifetime for me, so I took the job and ran with it!
Now, I have been running for 33 years! And I don’t feel like I’ve worked a day in all this time. I love what I do and I’m certain that being a dental assistant on an amazing dental team is what I was born to do!
Working with the patients has been the most rewarding part of my job. I’ve made so many friends over the years and care deeply for them and their families. I’ve worked with patients and have watched them grow from small children to high school graduates; then to graduate from college and get married; become mothers, fathers and parents of their own children who are my patients now. Being a part of their life for so many years is rewarding and makes me feel as if I am a part of their families.
I know that working with people is what I was born to do. Early in my career, I noticed a great fear in many patients and I realized that I could help my patients to not be so fearful of dentistry. For 33 years, I have been there for my patients to hold their hands, to be their friend and to help make coming to their dental appointment a fun experience.
I take pride in knowing I’ve helped transform even the most anxious, nervous and fearful patients into patients that still may not LIKE going to the dentist… but can get through an appointment simply by trusting that I will be there for them.
If a patient can just get through the office door, then I’ll do everything I can to make them feel as comfortable as possible, so we can help them take care of them during their dental appointment.
I have to say, I’m proud to be part of a dental team that puts our patients first from the moment they walk in the door.
We are here to welcome them with a warm smile, be aware of the importance of their time and get them in and out of their scheduled appointments in a timely manner.
We offer our patients movie or music DVDs to entertain them during their appointments, as well as a paraffin hand treatment to make them feel pampered.
We have comfortable cushioned chairs and free nitrous oxide. Fans have been placed in every room and we offer blankets to those who may want to feel cozy and warm during their dental appointment.
We even have mouth pillows if you need help keeping your mouth open or you want to take a nap during your treatment. (I personally like it when my patients take a nap, because I know I’ve gained their trust.)
You see, patients are the reason we have a job and if you want them to keep coming back, you have to be willing to go the extra mile and make it a great experience. It’s so simple to give a patient a great experience, but you have to be willing to GIVE.
The next reward is the challenge of doing dental procedures. Being and staying organized is the key to providing great dental service to our patients.
Dentistry can change in an instant … let’s say you are having your teeth cleaned and decide you would like to get a necessary filling or a crown done. Your dental team needs to be organized and ready to quickly switch gears.
This means setting up for everything possible before the patient arrives, so the appointment goes smoothly.
As a patient, you should know: The smoother it goes, the better your assistant, because she didn’t have to get up and go get anything for your appointment to continue. As an assistant, if I stay focused and organized throughout the day, appointments go smoothly, my patients are happy and I can help to keep our office on schedule with little wait time upon a patient’s arrival.
I listened, learned and memorized the doctor’s style so I could hand him an instrument before he knew he needed it. (I never wanted to interrupt a patient appointment because I had forgotten something.) Being prepared for anything during a dental appointment is a win-win for EVERYONE. If you are prepared enough, you may be able to finish an appointment earlier than expected, which puts a smile on everyone’s face! This is a topic we focus on in our monthly meetings… it is so very important to be organized.
I have shared my knowledge with the other dental assistants on our dental team so all of our doctors’ assistants can anticipate change and offer comfort to their patients during their dental care visit.
All of our dental assistants are so talented and caring… I would let any of them assist one of our dentists during my dental care treatment.
My favorite part of dentistry is the fact that for over 15 years, I have had the opportunity to help so many patients get the smile they’ve always wanted. We’ve done thousands of Smile Makeovers here at Dr. Thomas L. Anderson and Associates and we are so fortunate to have a very talented local dental lab to work with right here in Kansas City. Their work could compete with any Hollywood smile. Our dental lab artist can make a porcelain crown look so natural, that it looks like you were born with it. So what he can do with a smile makeover… well, it brings BIG SMILES to us all. We enjoy helping patients realize they are worth the time and money that they spend on themselves to get the smile they deserve.
Patients gain a lot of self-confidence with a new smile. I have proof in the before and after photos … it can turn back the hands of time to make patients look younger. The transformation of a new smile does wonders to a patients’ self-esteem. They can get that job they’ve wanted or maybe have the confidence to find that special someone, the possibilities are endless. I’ve seen so many amazing, life-changing events happen in our patients’ lives because of their new found confidence and self-esteem.
If you would like to see some examples of our Smile Makeovers… check out -Smile Gallery: Porcelain Veneers
I’ve been here a long time and the smiles we have made in the past 12-15 years are still holding strong.
That is how you know you have found a quality dental team and dental lab. I don’t think I will ever get tired taking care of my patients.
Life just doesn’t get any better!
Barbie Manion authored this blog and is featured in these photos. We appreciate the care that Barbie gives our valued patients and the leadership that she extends in our offices. Thanks, Barbie!!