Greeting and Seating the Patient


The dental assistant’s role in greeting and seating the patient.

Desired Result:

A patient greeting that is friendly, inviting and lowers any patient anxiety.

How To:

A warm greeting, a genuine smile and a courteous handshake are an important part of the dental visit.  This orchestrated opening sets the tone for the appointment, introduces the team member and encourages an open discussion of the patient’s expectations and fears.

  • The dental assistant enters the reception area and walks up to the seated patient. The assistant looks the patient in the eyes, smiles and using the patient’s name, makes an introduction.

Mrs. Jones, Hi my name is Kim, I am Dr. Adams dental assistant and I will be working with you today.” Shake the patient’s hand. “It is nice to meet / see you. Please follow me.” Make small talk. “Did you have any trouble finding the office or parking today?” or “The weather outside is frightful, are you staying dry today?”

  • Escort the patient to the clinical area and seat the patient.  While making eye contact, the assistant says to the patient:

“Mrs. Jones, your chart shows that we are doing a crown on tooth — 2 today and a tooth colored filling on tooth — 3.  Do you have any questions about your treatment before we get started?”

  • The patient may have a question or two which the assistant readily answers. Next, she makes the patient comfortable, offering relaxing music, a neck roll or lumbar support and a blanket. Now she can place the protective bib and applies a topical anesthetic to the treatment area.  When the doctor enters the operatory the assistant says:

“Dr. Adams, I have everything ready for the crown prep on tooth — 2 and the composite on tooth — 3, and Mrs. Jones is comfortable and ready to get started.”

  • Then the doctor greets the patient, gives anesthesia, and returns in a few moments to begin the procedure.