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THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Blogs

Finding What Works

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In clinic there is a multitude of patients that come by in the clinic. It’s been through experience that I have witnessed patients different comfort levels and experience at the dentist. Only by understanding each scenario can we become better student clinicians. There are many times when I have seen patients become more calm as treatment plans are presented on paper, or when they are told exactly how a procedure happens which helps comfort them. Only through experience and caring can we develop a better student patient relationship.



Patients come into the clinic scared and not wanting to truly come to the dentist. They feel as if this is an elective yet important decision but constantly dread it. We as students want to try and change this perspective and achieve a higher vision for our patients.


Finding what works is key in clinic and something that can be transferred into the private practice. This is not only limited to procedures but to also things such as marketing and advertising. Going above and beyond is something that will help patients want to refer, whereas doing what is adequate will get your patient to come back. Little things like this is key to realize because we are not only developing our clinical skills during our school time, but also our business skills.


Coming out of my second year there are so many things that I have picked up from patient experiences. I found that explaining procedures works when the patient is totally up on the chair and not laid down. I’ve also found that going above and beyond for the patients is amazing in the aspect of giving patients calls to check up on them after procedures and making sure they have been satisfied. These are true principles that will eventually build practices and create lifelong relationships.


This time in dental school training something that also works is speaking to those professors around you. They are there for you and want to guide you and train you. You can never over train. Over training is something that is key because as you go above and beyond in everything you do there will less stress and strain on working with patients who are more complicated. Working up medical history and vitals, and understanding what anesthetics work and don’t’ work are results of overtraining. Although sometimes it may seem difficult or repetitive, it’s interesting to see how much better of a clinician students are as they work above and beyond for all their patients.


Another small but simple concept that can be applied now during training is reading research articles, and participating in groups such as THE NEXTDDS to help keep skills fresh. I have been doing that and have had such awesome experiences understanding procedures and materials better and learning from those what works and what doesn’t work. Although there is so much variability in dentistry, it’s never bad to try and learn more. Learning equates to progress, and progress equates to a happy and healthy patient. After all, our patient’s happiness and health is what we want to work.