SEATING THE PATIENT
a. Interaction with the Patient. When everything is ready, the dental specialist
goes to the waiting room and calls the patient by name (rank, if military, and Mr. or Ms., if
civilian), then escorts the patient to the treatment room. If the patient is wearing a coat,
carrying packages, or has anything that might interfere with dental treatment, the dental
assistant places these articles in a secure place. The dental specialist seats the patient
and adjusts the chair, places a protective towel upon the patient's chest, and begins to
prepare appropriate instrument setups. Normally, patients are relieved of eyeglasses and
patients wearing lipstick are provided napkins for its removal. During this and other periods
when the dental officer leaves the treatment room, the dental specialist is left alone with the
patient. Such periods provide opportunities to put the patient at ease by discussing sports,
hobbies, or other subjects. Never discuss personal problems with the patients. The dental
specialist must always be calm, courteous, and reassuring. He must avoid any discussion
that might increase the patient's apprehension, such as anything related to needle, shot,
knife, or drill.
b. Discussion of Dental Procedures. The dental specialist must not attempt to
answer questions concerning specific professional matters. This is the responsibility of the
dental officer. The dental specialist may explain some of the simple procedures, but the
explanations must be kept simple and general in nature. Specific treatments to be given
must not be discussed by the dental specialist.
(1) Factors vary for each patient. Many factors determine a dental diagnosis.
Factors vary from one patient to another and the dental specialist may not fully understand
them. For this reason, he must not try to answer specific professional questions. If he
does, he may confuse the patient or embarrass himself if the dental officer contradicts his
(2) Courteous manner. If a patient asks specific professional questions, the
dental specialist must say that the dental officer is well qualified and will be happy to
answer them. In this way, the dental specialist lets the patient know in a courteous manner
that he does not intend to answer professional questions. He is also helping to build the
ADJUSTING THE DENTAL OPERATING CHAIR
In adjusting the dental operating chair, the dental specialist stands behind the chair
as the patient is seated in order to make immediate adjustments for the patient's comfort.
See figure 3-1. Various types of dental chairs are installed in dental treatment facilities.
The dental specialist must know the correct method of adjusting particular chairs in order to
make the patient comfortable.