The Secrets to Success: Advice from Dental Assistant Ronda Holman

Interviewer: Tanya Sue Maestas, DDS
Interviewee: Ronda Holman
Edited By: Candy Velez – CRDH, BSDH

In this interview, dental assistant Ronda Holman shares invaluable insights on the often-overlooked power of patience and communication in the dental office.

The Importance of Patience

In the dynamic realm of dentistry, Ronda Holman underscores the significance of patience for both dental assistants and dentists. She stresses the necessity for clear communication and structured teaching methods. Ronda explains that dentists struggle tremendously with the,

“tell, show, do aspect of education.”

Suppose dentists become better at taking the time to walk through this process with their dental assistants. In that case, it becomes easier to delegate, and the dentist can feel confident and comfortable knowing their dental assistants know exactly what to do because the dentist took the time to train them properly.

Taking the time to communicate effectively and provide thorough training not only builds trust but also empowers dental assistants, alleviating stress for dentists and ensuring a smoothly operating practice.

Ronda further explains that when dentists start to delegate, they really find their joy because they do not have to take on everything themselves. When dentists do not find this balance, they are constantly burdened with mental stress, unsure if their team truly represents them due to the absence of clear direction.

The Power of Communication

Effective communication between dental assistants and dentists ensures smooth operations within a dental office. Clear and open lines of communication prevent misunderstandings, reduce errors, and enhance overall efficiency.

Dental assistants must understand dentists’ expectations thoroughly, ensuring that tasks are carried out precisely, and dentists must be receptive to assistants’ feedback and concerns. Regular communication fosters trust, promotes teamwork, and ultimately improves the overall patient experience.

Ronda further stresses the need for patience and empathy in understanding one another’s roles and challenges:

“It is essential to not get frustrated with one another.”

Equally vital is the periodic review of the dental practice’s vision and core values with the entire dental team. Identifying the target audience, detailing the services provided, and outlining the desired patient experience solidify the team’s understanding of the practice’s mission.

By revisiting these aspects collaboratively, team members remain aligned with the practice’s goals, ensuring consistent and high-quality patient care. Regular reaffirming these values is a guiding light, reinforcing the team’s commitment to delivering exceptional dental services.

Lastly, Ronda emphasizes the importance of cultivating a learning environment within the dental office where both dental assistants and dentists can grow together:

“I’m addicted to learning because of my doctor. And I told her you started this. You took me on that CE and made me feel like a valued member of your team. And now, I just want to learn more and more and more because I realize at the end of the day, my day is so much smoother when I don’t have to guess what my doctor wants. I know what my doctor wants because we learned it together”

Conclusion and Future Outlook

The power of patience and communication in the dental office is immeasurable. By prioritizing these aspects, dental professionals can create a harmonious work environment that fosters growth, trust, and exceptional patient care. Investing in training, setting clear expectations, and revisiting core values are paramount.

In dentistry, the journey from before to after is crucial, but it’s the unspoken middle—the backstage—that defines a practice’s success. 

Thought Leadership Summary

In this enlightening interview, Ronda Holman sheds light on the transformative power of patience and communication in the dental office. Clear communication, structured education, and fostering empathy lead to trust, empowering dental assistants, and ensuring seamless practice operations.

Establishing and revisiting core values are fundamental for team alignment. As dentistry evolves, prioritizing these aspects is pivotal for success.

Until next time, let patience and communication be your guiding lights. Keep exploring, keep learning, and fuel your dental dreams with knowledge.

Ronda Holman

Ronda Holman

Ronda Holman found her passion for dental assisting while in the Air Force. She assisted in oral surgery, general dentistry, and ended her four-year service as a prophy tech, the military’s version of a dental hygienist. She married and spent 13 years traveling the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Each time Ronda relocated she got the opportunity to work in a new dental office, where she picked up pearls that have helped her become an expert in educating dental assistants. Her interests are immediate denture/partial fabrication, CEREC technology, patient education, and striving for optimal chairside skills. Ronda believes that every dental assistant has the potential to be a rock star assistant if given the right tools and guidance.