Dental assistants agree: The job is all about the patients.

Dental assistants work closely with patients, often providing emotional support and a calming presence. From assisting chairside to greeting patients, from providing after-care instructions to setting appointments, dental assistants are up close and personal with patients all day long.

That means when it comes to patients, dental assistants have seen and heard it all. Here are just a few on-the-job moments we’ve heard from dental assistants.



“Believe it or not, when the dentist has to get up and leave and you’re left alone with the patient, you practically become a therapist for a moment. Patients will tell you nearly anything — and a lot of the time it’s too much information.” — Jessica F.


“Is this seat taken?”

“When we say have a seat, it’s not in the chairs with wheels, but patients don’t always realize that. My chair is very important for me to do my job! Please don’t put your coat and purse on it.” — Alex J.


The third degree

“I had a patient dig into my personal life and ask me all sorts of questions, like how long I had been working, if I had any kids, if I was married and so on. I was so embarrassed! Then she told my dentist that she did not want me to work on her because I was new, even though I’d been assisting for nine years. Sometimes you have to have thick skin for this job!” — Tonya B.


“Is that really me?”

“Patients are often so surprised by how they look. I love seeing a patient’s look of amazement when they’ve had most of their mouth redone. It’s like they don’t even believe they’re looking at themselves in the mirror.” — Alice E.


Can you relate to any of these? Let us know in the comments!