Anticipation coursed through my body as I walked towards the front door. On the other side of the thick, heavy, wooden door, through the transparent panes of the glass doors walked people of sophistication. The lovely receptionist Justyna greeted me with a smile and invited me to have a seat. The mirror pattern and crystal chandelier lit up the room with a warm glow, the warmth may just be the heater over my head.
I was first invited into the surgery where a patient was kind enough to let me see his treatment. I observed as Dr Flora Chigwedere conducted the fillings that the patient required. The process looked completely divergent from a new perspective. All the equipment and tools used in a specific order with a specific name and a specific purpose.
After that I learnt how to check patient’s memberships and whether or not they had renewed them. Ticking as I went along, I made notes of who had and hadn’t sent in payment for their memberships.
I also observed an Invisalign® treatment (one of the types of brace treatments along with traditional/metal braces, lingual- on the inside of the teeth and ceramic- tooth coloured or clear brackets). Invisalign® treatments consist of anything from 7-50 custom-made clear aligners. One thing I learnt about this is that you cannot eat or drink with them in, unless it’s water. They must be removed when consuming any other liquids and after eating food teeth must be brushed before replacing the aligners. Aligners must always go straight into the case after removal to prevent loss or damage. There are four different types of Invisalign®- i7 which is up to 7 aligners, invisiline lite® which is 7-14 aligners Invisalign full® which is 15+ aligners and finally invisiline teen ®
As a result of yesterday’s experience I was much less nervous for the events of the day to take place. Due to my enthusiastic nature I arrived 30 minutes too early …whoops! Oh well better to be too early than too late, right. Once again I greeted Justyna and resumed checking memberships (there are a lot, what I can say for such an excellent dental spa).
In addition to that I observed the amazing hygienist Farah as she commenced her oral hygiene treatment. Her hands seemed to merge with the apparatus she used as she moved with such precision and delicacy. An oral hygienist’s job is to monitor how well you are brushing and help maintain your teeth. They do this by cleaning your teeth, examining for oral diseases, educate on how to prevent gum disease and plaque build-up. They don’t only monitor the teeth, they also look at soft tissues such as tongue, gums, cheeks and lips to make sure that there are no oral cancers present.
Farah is so friendly, her soft soothing voice helping her patients relax as their treatment is undertaken and not be unnerved and on edge. The radio in the background gently emitting a steady flow of smooth jazz added to the tranquil environment of the surgery.
Once again I had arrived early. All the better to start before anything gets too hectic. I started off by shredding some documents which contained sensitive information. I learned about concierge treatment of the Dental Spa patients – when I greet a client at the door and take their coat from them, removing any valuables and inviting them to be seated, I then offer them a beverage and oblige to their requests.
I observed a treatment where there was too much plaque build-up beneath the gums so it had to be anaesthetically removed. Too much plaque build-up can cause the root of the tooth to wear away and cause the tooth to fall out. The bottom row of teeth usually has the most plaque build-up as there is a salivary gland right behind them. The ph. of saliva can often cause food debris to turn into hardened plaque quickly, so it’s important to floss and brush it away.
I also learned how to decontaminate and package the dental instruments correctly, store them and set up for treatments. I helped log dental documents on to a computer. I assisted as oral hygienist Catherine called out data that I then entered into the software. Just like Farah, Catherine has a soft voice that calms patients. She doesn’t hesitate to have a joke with the clients and ask them questions. She gives excellent advice on what products to use and how to use them.
I also saw part of a dental scan from a patient. The scan showed the incisors, canines, semi-molars, molars and wisdom teeth in a completely different way. You can see all the nooks and crannies that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye.
I started of the day by learning how to scan legal documents. I took the paper version and placed them into the scanner. I then signed my initials and the date to the paper to make sure the process won’t be replicated. I then put together some of the company’s promotional products, using double sided tape to stick cards to the patient information leaflets. They will be distributed to customers so that they can recommend the Dental Spa to others and be sure to return themselves.
Like yesterday I got to witness another dental scan, only this time I witnessed the procedure from start to finish. It was truly fascinating. With the scan, special apparatus known as iTero was used. In the handheld reader tiny lights scanned the area it was pointed in and sent thousands of microscopic pixels into the database that then created a 3D reconstruction of the oral structure. With this technology patients can see what their teeth would look like before and after braces.
There were x-rays displayed on the screen. I wasn’t allowed into the surgery at that point as the radiation can be harmful but I noticed that on the screen fillings showed up as white and decay showed up black.
My final day of experience at the spa. I witnessed the moulding and sculpting of a splint. The patient had been previously grinding her teeth causing her teeth issues and her jaw to be overworked. The splint (mouth guard) helps prevent the teethe grinding against one another. I conducted some research into a First Aid course as I would like to train in CPR and First Aid. I also created an excel spread sheet which showed all the new patients who had attended the Dental Spa over the month of January for the Dental Spa’s administrative purposes.