This week Maven Dental Reynella's friendly and enthusiastic Practice Manager, Veronica (Von) Dix, joins us in the chair. We discovered how her fear of the dentist encouraged her to pursue a career in dentistry and what role she plays in delivering patients positive experiences.
So Von, where did your love for dentistry come from?
Fear! I actually had a terrible phobia of dentists. I originally came from a nursing background and thought I’d like to try a change of career and moved into allied health. I chose dental in particular as I wanted to gain knowledge about the profession in order to challenge and overcome my fear. I believe that by gaining knowledge of what we fear, in most instances, we can overcome them. I’m still not a fan of being in the chair myself, but I no longer feel terrified.
Knowing your own experiences with dentists, how important would you say it is for your team to develop strong relationships with patients?
My team are the face of the practice. They are critical to the overall patient experience. From that very first smile as a patient walks into the TLC calls the following day to check on the patients recovery, they play a very important role.
Aside from fear, what would you say is the biggest obstacle patients face that prevents from visiting the dentist?
I can think of a few... but I guess the main one is the lack of understanding of just how essential their oral health is to their total health and well-being. Patients need much more communication and education on how poor oral health can actually cause a decline in existing medical conditions such as diabetes and health problems, and how it can actually be a major factor in contributing to the decline in their overall health.
How do you help them overcome this?
We try to keep educational publications and articles available to read whilst they wait, so that information is at hand. Our hygiene department also play a strong part in the education process, as well as placing educational articles/blogs on social media for people to access.
For patients visiting Maven Dental Reynella, what sort of experience can they expect? And what role do you play in that?
From the very first moment they step into our practice, we want our patients to feel that they are part of a “family”. They are greeted by their name and with a warm smile by our front desk staff and invited to relax in our “living room” (we don’t use the term waiting room).
As far as my role, I'm no different from my team. I make a cuppa for the patient if we are behind, arrange taxis and whatever else I can do to help. I follow up with them in person if they have any fears or concerns of a non-clinical nature. I generally assist with steri and help our staff where needed to ensure that the patients visit goes smoothly and they are as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Our goal is to have every patient feel that they are valued.
If you have ever struggled with anxiety or fear of the dentists, then you are certainly not alone! Having experienced these feelings herself, Von is now committed to helping others overcome this obstacle and continue their journey to excellent oral health.
Whether you have been putting off visiting the dentist or due for your next check-up, visit the caring Maven Dental Reynella team - you'll certainly be made to feel welcome and part of the family. Don't forget to say hello to Von when you get a chance.