Working at a dental office isn’t something I ever thought I’d be doing. I’m not an assistant or anything, I just work at the front desk, but in the six or so months I’ve been working there, I’ve learned a lot of things and picked up a lot of good life skills. From complex scheduling to clinical terms to the ins and outs of insurance, there’s a lot that goes into figuring out how to manage the office. Here are the top five things I have learned on the job and would like to pass on to you, my friends.
5. Going to the dentist is nothing to be afraid of.
The dentist, assistants, and hygienists aren’t there to torture you (usually). They just want to clean and/or fix your teeth for your own health and comfort. If you’re worried about it being painful, let them know and they will try to make your experience as non-traumatizing as possible.
4. Paper trails are good things.
At our office, and probably at any other dental or medical practice, we keep good, thorough clinical notes on every patient. We try to document every time we contact a patient over the phone or via email when it regards their dental health. It’s partially because it’s helpful for us to all stay on the same page, and partially for legal reasons. Either way, it’s a good life principle too. If you need to discuss something important with someone, taking notes or communicating over email is a good idea.
3. If you make an appointment, keep it.
This doesn’t just apply to dentist appointments, it’s true for any kind of appointment… or meeting, or date, or anything you schedule in advance that involves other people. At the dentist, you can make your next cleaning appointment for six months out, which I know seems far away, but it’s not that hard to write it down in your calendar/type it into iCal and then avoid scheduling anything else at that same time. It bugs people when you break appointments with them, so please don’t do it.
2. Dental insurance is worth having.
If you only go to the dentist for your two cleanings per year and never have cavities (good job!), your bank account won’t suffer too much if you don’t have dental insurance. However, if you ever do need major treatment sometime, you’ll be very grateful for insurance. Remember that dental insurance isn’t included in a standard medical insurance plan; it costs a little extra to add it on, but it’s probably worth it.
1. Brush. Your. Teeth.
Twice a day. Every day. Do it thoroughly. And floss sometimes too. You will prevent so many EXPENSIVE dental problems in your future if you brush now. It’s well worth the two minutes of inconvenience in your morning and evening routines. Plus, keeping your teeth clean and plaque-free helps prevent bacteria in your mouth from entering your bloodstream, which can cause heart disease. Seriously guys, always brush your teeth.
What are your biggest issues with going to the dentist (or do you love it)?