#15 – Seat client

#15- Seat Client

  1. How to check for a client
  2. Greet patient back to operatory
  3. Ask if they would like to rinse with Listerine
  4. Place bib
  5. Ask about N2O and a movie
  6. Ask if they have any questions or if you can do anything else for them

#1- How to Check for a Client.

Make sure the room is ready at least 5 minutes before the client’s scheduled time.

  1. Plastic cover on back of chair – can be rotated for 1 extra use of backside
  2. Tray setup correct
  3. Handpieces, A/W syringes in place

Keep an eye on the doctor and hygienist’s schedules.  When a client is due and they have not dismissed their present client, seat their next client in an open operatory.  You should always seat the client on time.  If we are behind, the client won’t mind as much if they are waiting in the operatory.

If the client is more than 5 minutes late, let the secretaries know.  Give a secretary the client’s chart.  She will call the client and note in the folder what happened.  You can relay this information to your doctor.  Don’t wear your gloves out of the operatory.

Don’t seat a client more than five minutes early unless your dentist is ahead of schedule. Once you seat the client, they begin the clock to decide if the dentist is late.

If the doctor’s next patient is due, get the patient folder and look to see if there is a picture of the client.  If there is a picture, look in patient gallery and print the picture.  If there is no picture there, then ask one of the secretaries up front to point out the patient to you.

Seat the client on time, even if your dentist will be longer with another client.  Remember the old French saying:  “People count up the faults of those who keep them waiting.”

Always keep an eye on the doctor and hygienist’s schedules.  The easiest way to do this is by constantly checking the computer’s monitor.

#2 Greet patient and escort back to operatory.

Never stand in the hallway and yell the client’s name.  If there is no picture of the client in the folder, ask the secretary to point out the client. Change the client’s status to “Seated” in the computer.  This lets the secretaries know you have taken care of this client.  When you know the client, smile, give good eye contact, introduce yourself, and greet them by name.  Avoid saying “Would you like to come with me?”  Your client could say “no!”  Then what do you do?  Instead say “Hi, Mrs. Brown, I’m ___________.  It’s great to see you.  Please follow me and I’ll make you comfortable for treatment.  If you don’t know the client personally, use their last name.  Some people (particularly those over 50) will be offended by you using their first name.  Escort them to the appropriate room.  Raise the arm of the chair and let them settle in.

* Do not wear gloves or mask outside of the operatories and never up front.  *

#3 Ask if Patient would like to rinse with Listerine.

Ask if client would like to rinse with a small amount of Listerine in a plastic cup. (Sometimes diluted with water)

#4 Place Bib.

Place bib around patient.  Attach the left side first, and then bring the right side behind your client’s head. Show the client the massage pad controls (if there is one on the chair) and let them use it if they want to.  Let them know what you are doing today.  Filling, Extraction, Cleaning, Root Canal, Crown…  Do they have any questions about their treatment?

#5 Ask About N2O Or A Movie.

Ask them if they would like a movie or nitrous oxide.  Movies are a great way to accompany nitrous oxide.

Show the client the massage pad controls (if there is one on the chair) and let them use it if they want to.

The next step is to place topical anesthetic. The topical takes one minute to be complete. For an upper #4-
# 13, the topical is to be placed on the gum tissue above the tooth you will be working on upper molars spread along vestibule from 1st molar to 3rd molar. For a lower molars, the topical should be placed on the cheeky area and behind tooth #31 or #17 area depending on the side you will be working on from 20-29 place on gums below tooth. After you place the topical, ask your patient about nitrous oxide. Remember : lower molars require lidocaine. For all other teeth we use Septocaine.


Nitrous Oxide
You can look in the client folder to see if they have used nitrous oxide before.  If they have not, explain the advantages and effects of nitrous oxide.

The advantages are:

The appointment seems to go quicker

Improved effect of anesthesia

Decrease in salivary gland

You leave the appointment feeling rested

There is no fee!

The common effects of nitrous oxide are:

Warm, fuzzy feeling

Floating, relaxed feeling

Fingers and toes may tingle

The benefits of nitrous:

  1. Time goes by quickly
  2. Improved effect of anesthetic
  3. Decrease in salivary flow
  4. Reduction of memory are balanced by some drawbacks:
    a. Peripheral vision is fogged
    b. Decrease in the sense of touch
    c. Hearing and smell sensations increased
    d. Disorientation can lead to anxiety

The best thing about using nitrous oxide is that there are virtually no side effects and the feeling of it goes away as quickly as it came.  You actually receive 6 times the amount of normal oxygen, which leaves you feeling healthy and rested.  If for any reason you don’t like it, we’ll just take it off.  We do everything else the same.  If the client chooses to use nitrous oxide, hook it up and demonstrate its use.  Then place your client on seven liters of oxygen and wait for your dentist to administer the nitrous oxide to the client.


Place the topical and offer the client a movie or headphones.  These things distract a patient from the sound of a drill and might put the patient at ease.  Make sure the movie is appropriate for your client, angle the chair so the nosepiece is comfortable and s/he can see the screen. Make sure the volume is ok.

If they don’t care to use the nitrous oxide or a movie, offer your client a magazine.  If they seem to indicate they would like to talk, stay and talk with them.

Tray Set-up and Room Wrap
Sometimes you are able to have a room set up ahead of time, but not normally. After your patient is seated and you have done steps 1-4, set up your tray of instruments and wrap the room up while you or your doctor are talking to the patient.

Following these steps will help everyone to be productive and stay on schedule and it will make the day go smoother.


The use of music is a physical and emotional distraction to help our client relax.  It reduces the gag reflex.  The music also masks the sounds of the drill, etc.  Although the client should be allowed to listen to whatever music they prefer ‑ we have radios, tapes.  If so, get them ready.  Ask them if they would prefer to read a magazine or lay back and relax.

#6 If they have not chosen N2O, movies, or headphones, ask if they have any questions or anything else you can do for them.

Ask if there is anything else you can do.  If there is no picture in their folder, bring the camera into the room so the chairside can take their picture.  When your client is ready, tilt the chair back and only then tilt the back down.  If you do it this way the client’s head will stay if the headrest.  If you tilt the back first, the head will slide out of the headrest.

Take a few minutes to get to know our client.  Are they new to us?

Have they been part of the practice a long time?  Look at the remarks section on the yellow treatment sheet.  This will give you ideas for topics for conversations.

Encourage your client to talk ‑ and listen to them.  What fears, expectations, problems, etc., do you hear?  Take notes.

When you listen with interest and understanding you gain trust. When our client trusts us he will accept our doctors’ treatment recommendations.

If you have time, don’t leave the client alone before treatment begins if they prefer to talk.

C&S person may be asked to walk Client and Chart to the front side of the desk.

Ask client if there are any questions about today’s treatment.

Before bringing client to the desk, make sure you have Salmon sheet (next appointment) and Yellow treatment sheet (that day’s treatment) filled out.

At the desk, Back staff person says, “_______(Staff person) this is “Joe” and he needs to come back in ____ (amt. of time) for _____.   I noted everything on the salmon sheet.” Or “_______(Staff person) this is “Joe” and he doesn’t need to come back until ______ (next recall date), _____ (Staff Person) will be with you as soon as possible Joe.  Thanks for coming in today _____ (Client).  Please call us if you need anything.