Upon graduating from a dental assistant training program, you’ll have plenty of dental knowledge and skills that you can use to better your clients’ health. Whether it’s offering advice about a proper flossing and brushing regimen, or bringing awareness to how bad habits like smoking can cause damage to gums and teeth, dental assistants and other dental professionals can educate clients on maintaining good oral health. However, while educating clients, dental professionals need to be cautious and make sure they don’t cross the line into lecturing. Lecturing a client, while well intentioned, often leads to scolding or judging clients over current or past habits, rather than on empowering clients to make positive changes.
Even if a dental assistant has their client’s best interests in mind, lecturing is not necessarily the right way to encourage good dental habits, and will likely result in the client tuning out the advice altogether.
If you’re considering becoming a dental assistant, read on to learn more about lecturing clients.
Students in Dental Assistant Courses Should Know Lecturing Causes Clients to Avoid the Dentist
While lecturing or scolding clients about their dental health has become an outdated practice, many clients still have fears about visiting the dentist as a result. Whether it’s for not flossing enough or letting their dental health deteriorate beyond repair, clients are worried that dental professionals will shame them for their habits.
This fear drives many clients to avoid going to the dentist altogether, which only causes their dental health issues to worsen and anxiety to increase. As a graduate of intra oral dental assistant training, you can help overcome a client’s anxiety about being lectured by letting them know that it’s a dental professional’s job to treat them and not to judge.
The Anticipation of Being Lectured May Lead to Anxiety in the Dentist Chair
The fear of being lectured or judged for their oral health can cause some clients to feel nervous at the dentist. As graduates of healthcare school know, it’s never ideal to have a nervous client, as it makes the entire process much more complicated and uncomfortable than it needs to be. There’s no reason why a client should ever be uncomfortable or scared in the dentist’s chair, but fearing they may be lectured for their habits can quickly intensify a situation.
If you have a client who seems apprehensive about talking about their oral health and receiving treatment in general, gently remind them that you’re there to support their oral health, not to place blame or judgement. Once the client realizes you’re on their side, they will be more relaxed throughout the appointment.
Students in Dental Assistant Courses Know Good Communication Leads to Better Client Habits
The line between informing a client about good oral health habits and lecturing a client is a fine one, and if you’re not careful, a client may perceive you as someone who is lecturing them rather than providing beneficial and well-intended information. Therefore, it’s important to approach giving advice carefully, especially if you sense a client may be defensive of their lifestyle choices.
The best way you can help your clients make good choices is to let them know that their team of dentists, dental assistants, and hygienists are on their side. By providing support and letting the client know you’re there for them, you encourage good habits and lasting oral health.
Did you know graduates of a dental assistant course play an important role in educating clients about oral health?
Contact Medix College to learn more about this rewarding career path!