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    What is the first impression your new dental patient has of you?

    First impressions can make – or break – a relationship with a new patient.

    “You have got to be kidding! This teenager is going to be taking care of my teeth? I am old enough to be her grandma. And … what is with the body piercings? How many is enough? Why aren’t her parents telling her to stop putting so many holes in her head?”

    Is your new patient thinking like this when he or she first meets you? I hate to say it, but you need to think about this. What do you see when you look in that proverbial mirror?

    Here are three categories we are going to examine in this article…

    • Hygiene
    • Timeliness
    • Maturity

    ​Trending artilce: Who says dental assisting is a highly skilled profession?

    Hygiene

    Now don’t get offended … because this may hurt a little. Some folks who work in the practice simply don’t realize how important it is to have good hygiene of their own (be honest … you can probably think of someone right now who fits this description). Fingernails should be kept trimmed and neat. As a patient, even with your gloves on, those long nails you love scare me to death. The last thing I want is to be scratched inadvertently (yes, I am a wimp who doesn’t want another reason to be scared to go to the dentist).

    I shouldn’t have to be worried about your hygiene and bathroom etiquette. After all, your hands are going into my mouth. If you don’t take care of yourself, I wonder how well you are sterilizing the equipment between patients. I know. You probably think I am ridiculous or that I have some kind of issue. Maybe I do … but then again … maybe I am saying what a lot of your patients are thinking. Think about it.

     

    Continue to page two for more...

     

    Lisa Newburger, LISW-S
    Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" ...

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