Dental Assistant Skill

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Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:47 pm

Dental Assistant Skill

#1 Post by joicetti »

I'm currently on month 14 of a roughly 18-month sentence.

Lately I've been starting to wonder just how capable and competent the assistants at my orthodontist office are. We do our due diligence to talk to orthodontists, get second opinions, etc. but what about their teams?

There's one assistant who is fabulous. She put a wire on me a few months ago and she said that it would feel tight and indeed it did. I felt and saw real progress that month.

The other assistants not so much.

As you near the end of treatment the wire gets bigger and it can be harder to push it through the brackets. I had one assistant accidentally stab me in the face with the plier tool they use to get the wire in place as she poked and prodded for it to go through. I felt the sharp edge go across my face and heard her go 'OH MY GOD!!" before she slapped a tissue onto my cheek to stop the bleeding. That was lovely. I've only seen that girl in the office one time in the 14 months I've been going there.

There's another girl who has me more concerned because she ends up helping me more often than not. She is super slow to the point where one time she was putting the ligatures on me and the orthodontist (sitting in the corner at her computer) actually came over and told her she would finish me up. That hadn't happened before. Normally the orthodontist gives the assistant directions for what to do and then she moves on to the next patient or she goes to the computer and updates her files.

At this last appointment this same assistant couldn't get the wire through so she asked the orthodontist for help, who came over and finished everything up quickly and without any issue. Worst of all the girl had added a laced wire which the orthodontist said 'sorry I'm adjusting the lace because it's loose on both arches.'

It's this last point that has me most concerned.

I wonder if my wires and ligatures and springs and whatever else they are adding are getting put on correctly. Am I getting the maximum effect from my braces? Or are things just being added by someone who is inexperienced, basically leaving me with expensive and annoying decorations on my teeth without real movement or benefit?

Has anyone dealt with this sort of situation at their orthodontist's office? My adjustments are done in a big room without any privacy so I can't even bring it up discretely.

Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Dental Assistant Skill

#2 Post by erin5550 »

I can’t say I’ve dealt with the same. My orthodontist’s assistants that I’ve dealt with are all amazing. If you’re feeling concerned, and don’t want to bring it up in the public setting, I would just ask to speak to her privately. Or maybe call and ask if you can schedule a quick meeting prior to your next appointment.

Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: Dental Assistant Skill

#3 Post by Scandalicious »

My orthodontist does all the wire and ligature changes for me. The assistants really only help set up with new wires and whatever colour ligatures I want.

Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:07 am

Re: Dental Assistant Skill

#4 Post by FlyByNight »

I had a bad experience while getting braces on. The assistant was grinding my ceramic brackets down with the drill and her hand slipped and gashed my gums right above that tooth and my god did it bleed. She told me I shouldn’t jump like that. I only jumped because you sliced my gums!

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Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 am

Re: Dental Assistant Skill

#5 Post by assertives »

Things are different where I'm from. My wires and ligature changes and wire clipping, etc, are done by my orthodontist. The assistant only assist with passing him the equipment.

If you are concerned about this particular assistant's skills or lack thereof, perhaps, you could request for a particular assistant to work on you instead?

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