Dentist and dental assistant relationship

dentist and dental assistant relationship

The purpose of this paper was to explore the relationships between dental . including dentists, dental therapists, dental assistants and dental. The Hidden Attributes of the Dental Assistant. Building relationships with patients & manufacturers is a powerful win-win. Theresa Groody, CDA, EFDA, MEd. These These relationships cause a tremendous amount of This young dental assistant, whom you describe as quite naive, is, nevertheless, an adult. I don`t mind talking dentistry, but I don`t like his high-pressure tactics.

From routine consumables to capital equipment, assisting teams have comparable direct experience with product to dentists; for example, they are qualified and can provide feedback on texture of gloves, absorbency of towels and cotton rolls, handling of disinfectants, properties of alginate and gypsum products, design of cabinetry and efficient design, desired location of hoses and hookups on carts, just to name a few.

To that end, when dentists and sales personnel elicit, respect, and implement this valuable feedback, assistants feel valued and more invested in their profession.

dentist and dental assistant relationship

Education Expansion In states that utilize expanded functions dental assistants EFDAsor any variation of that title, the connection may be even more powerful. Dentists delegating restorative procedures will not only include their EFDAs in product selection discussions, but will also allow them to select products based on their own preferences because they may well be the primary users of the product.

Especially in restorative states, dental manufacturers and distributors alike are continuing to move forward with continuing education offerings as this resonates strongly with those who understand the impact dental assistants have on their dental practices.

An obvious connection is again made with staff if they begin asking for more courses developed specifically for them and the company working with that office creates one or refers staff to an existing one. In the past, some manufacturers advertised hands-on courses and limited attendance to dentists only. This philosophy parallels those overlooking auxiliary staff at exhibit tables; clearly more successful relationships are built based on including staff and meeting their needs rather than excluding and ultimately frustrating them.

Employer Relationship Suggestions to assist employers and companies desiring to build or improve these relationships are fairly simple to implement.

Adapting a genuine interest in each employee can improve the overall dynamic of the practice as well as the rapport with the dental supply company. Just as patients can sense when the climate is genuine and positive, employees are certainly aware when their employer has compassion and concern for their overall well being and when they do not. Successful practices seem to incorporate several team-building events that combine staff meetings with social activities.

When employers make a point to check in with each employee regarding how they feel in their current positions, helping them identify personal strengths and areas they would like to improve, the employee feels more supported. This type of interaction proves unsuccessful, however, if it comes from a place of evaluation; the team member may not be as honest if the discussion is connected to salary or feelings of insecurity about job stability.

Effective leaders inspire individuals to develop strategies for success. By ensuring employees are content in the workplace, dentists not only elevate the morale of each team member, but also the personality of the entire practice. Taking the time to learn specific continuing education requirements for each staff member who requires it not only shows interest in the individual but also takes an extra step not directly related to profit.

Most companies have an education division that can connect employees with webinars and courses or look into creating new courses. Conclusion The dental assistant is a key facilitator of enduring patient and sales relations—an importance that should not be overlooked.

One positive relationship builds upon another, leading to a healthy, motivated dental team and practice. This role in any office is vital for relationship building and actually may result in a triple win; that is, when the doctor and assistant have mutual respect for one another, the patient ultimately wins in the end. How important is it for a sales representative to forge a solid relationship with the assistant?

And why is it important? Statistically, dental assistants are responsible for the majority of buying decisions in a practice and can wield a lot of influence as they always have the ear of the dentist. I think a lot of times, dealer reps feel they need to forge relationships with the dentist because the dentist is the one who signs the checks.

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When they forget the influence that the assistant has in a practice with reference to selecting dental materials, it can make for uncomfortable situations for everyone. How valuable is the role of the dental assistant in selecting products?

It has been my experience both as a clinical dental assistant and a dealer rep that dentists weigh heavily on the opinions of their assistants. Many times, the dentist looks to the dental assistant to either make or assist in making decisions on products.

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How does your experience as a dental assistant help with forging bonds? I have been a dental assistant for almost 30 years and prior to coming to Hu-Friedy, I was a dealer rep myself. One of the things that worked well for me is that I had a unique knowledge as to what dental assistants were experiencing on a daily basis as I had walked a mile in their shoes. For me, it is an instant connection because I can communicate dental assistant to dental assistant, creating an almost instant bond.

What kind of questions should dental assistants ask of their sales reps? Do you have any other suggestions? A good dental assistant should be asking questions regarding the products used in his or her practice. Why should we use this product over another?

dentist and dental assistant relationship

So it is usually a fly in, fly out doctor that comes up and does a three to six-month stint and then they go again. There is often very little communication with the relieving ones [medical staff].

Dentist 7 Some participants stated that the rural doctors rarely contacted them for advice and vice versa. They [medical professionals] never contact me and I have no need ever to contact them either. One dentist had made an offer to the doctors that they could ring him for advice but this never happened. I tell the doctors they can call me but they never have. Dentist 5 Two of the twelve participants mentioned that the local doctors did contact them for advice on dental issues.

The doctors ring me for advice on dental problems and I really feel that I should upgrade to dentistry. Dental Therapist 3 The [rural] doctors ring me and I speak to them about dental issues. This is good and they tell me they know very little about teeth and they refer everything teeth related to me.

Dentist 6 It was not uncommon for primary care providers to be unaware of the dental service visits to their community. Dental Assistant 1 Inefficient, informal or non-existent referral pathways between the primary care and dental practitioners created a barrier to effective interprofessional communication.

dentist and dental assistant relationship

The Central Referral Unit seems to be the problem. The phone is manned by a person who has no dental training and so is not able to triage the seriousness of conditions for priority care Dental Assistant 2 There were some examples of very good communication and referrals between the two disciplines where one mobile dental service widely advertised information on their services and posted their timetables for visits to rural communities well in advance. When the hospital communicated with the visiting dental service, patients were provided with the service needed.

The hospital rang us and said they had a patient there complaining of a toothache and we saw them. Dental Assistant 2 … we got a few referrals from a doctor by letter.

RDA Relationship with the Dentist

Once we had treated the patient we wrote a letter back saying the treatment had been completed. If we are going into [Name of a rural town], we will have someone from that hospital ring us … often it is the DON.

So they are the level of stakeholders that I often get calls from. So if we are doing any patient handover then they are the ones we speak to. Practice Manager Relationships between dental and primary care providers It was more common for visiting dental practitioners to have contact with hospital Directors of Nursing DONNurse Practitioners, allied health, administrative staff and auxiliary health care workers who were often long term and committed community members than medical practitioners.

dentist and dental assistant relationship

The most stable person is the DON at the medical practice. Dental Assistant 2 In [Name of rural community] we have a good relationship but that is mainly with the admin staff more so than the doctors themselves. The DONs that come out of the cities to do relief have different attitudes also. There is often very little communication with the relieving ones Dentist 7.

However, some participants acknowledged that the relationship with nursing staff was not as amicable as it could be and there was little relationship with the doctors.

Not always do we have a good relationship with the DON. They sometimes feel like we are stepping on their toes. He was not very impressed with us using his toilets.

Dentist 7 We have no professional relationships with the doctors. None what so ever Dentist 8 Dental participants felt that some primary care providers did not always appear interested in dental matters and sometimes felt reluctant to approach them to co-operate in promoting oral health to patients.

Dental Assistant 2 The relationship between doctors and dentists was recognised as having two sides, as one dentist acknowledged: When there was a collaboration between the visiting dental providers and primary care practitioners, some participants commented that this improved dental services which was believed to benefit patients.

We have seen those numbers drastically decrease by doing that. Practice Manager Maintenance of professional dualism The maintenance of strong disciplinary boundaries and a siloed approach to practice was seen as a barrier to interprofessional collaboration and could work to the detriment to patients with interrelated medical and dental conditions.

A separation of oral health from more general health and the mouth from the rest of the body was reflected in the comments made by some participants. I fix his teeth if he has a problem Dentist 4 Another participant reported that they had asked the doctors not to look at the mouth because that was the work of a dentist rather than a medical doctor.

If a patient is sick well he goes to the doctor. I fix his teeth if he has a problem. Dentist 3 One participant acknowledged this professional separation had been present for some time and contributed to by both the dental and medical professions: Strategies to improve interprofessional relationships There were a number of strategies to improve the professional relationships between the disciplines that emerged from the interview data.

Face to face meetings It was believed that creating opportunities to meet and organising face to face meetings between visiting dental and rural primary care providers could improve the interprofessional communication and collaboration.

The onus would be on the dentist to go around and meet everyone [doctors and pharmacists] and say: When we went to [Name of the rural community] the DON there was awesome. She was rounding up patients for us and she cared and I gave her so many pamphlets and stuff and she handed them out and she was all for it.

Dental Assistant 2 One participant recalled how a face to face meeting with the doctor helped provided the treatment need by a patient with more complex needs: The only reason we had that professional relationship was because the doctor came to me with a patient who was on Warfarin and they needed some extractions and she was referred by a maxillofacial surgeon in [Name of a town] and he refused to see her because she was on the warfarin.

dentist and dental assistant relationship

Dentist 8 It was observed that younger dental graduates tended to socialise with medical graduates and this allowed respect and relationships to be developed. The relationship between the medical and dental people out here is very friendly because they all know each other. Often times they are young people and they associate together. So the dentists and intern doctors live together and there is a pretty close association in that regard. The smaller the community I think the better they all know each other.

Dentist 2 Utilisation of technology The dental participants interviewed did not think that the investment in technologies such as intra-oral cameras and video or tele-conferencing would help improve dental outcomes for patients in any significant way.

Respondents did however, generally appreciated the potential of new technology and the rationale for its use: