Th 0701do Assistant

Beverly Slape

Jan. 1, 2007
Dental Assistant, Ballwin, Mo.

Dental Assistant
Ballwin, Mo.

How long have you been a dental assistant?

I’ve been an assistant for 27 years, including 13 years with Dr. Samuel Gross in Ballwin, Mo., which is a suburb of St. Louis.

Why do you love being a dental assistant?

I love talking to people. I love getting to know people. I can remember things about patients’ families, and I know it helps patients feel more comfortable when I can ask them about a family member or a recent vacation.

What do you like most about your current job?

When I interviewed with Dr. Gross, something just clicked. I’ve never regretted my decision to work here. I’ll often hand him things before he asks for them. His wife claims I’m the doctor’s second wife (laughing). Maybe it’s because we’re both Pisces, but we just click.

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You went to the Professional Dental Assisting conference last year. What did you like most about PDA?

I feel left out sometimes at some of the bigger trade shows because the vendors often overlook dental assistants, but that wasn’t the case at PDA. It was nice to have the focus of the meeting on assistants and to get to meet assistants from all over the country.

What about your relationship with your local sales rep?

Our Sullivan-Schein rep understands how things work in our office and knows who to talk to about ordering. She has both my home and cell phone numbers and we work together very well.

What is one thing you would change about dental assisting if you could?

I would like to see more attention given to dental assistants by vendors at trade shows. I’m surprised at how many of them don’t understand the power we hold in our offices.