Kat is a dental hygienist who is a specialist in root canal anesthesia at North Sound Root Canal Specialists. We sat down with her to better understand her unique and very successful methods.
Q: Why did you decide to become a specialist in numbing patients for root canals.
A: For root canals, it is essential that the patient is profoundly numb and not be jarred by rushed injections. Being the one that sensitively prepares the patient gives me great satisfaction. Numbing patients in a general dentist’s office, although just as important, is not as complex as for root canals.
Q: You say you help manage a patient’s anxiety level. What does that mean?
A: By asking just a few questions, I can tell what a patient is feeling through their words, facial expressions and body language. Numbing a patient is a process that requires a gentle, patient approach. For so many patients, they dread getting numbed more than the root canal.
Q: What kind of methods do you use?
A: I use breathing exercises, calming techniques and just talking to the patient to put them at ease. Many people have had negative experiences with root canals in the past (or have bought into the myths) and are not aware of how much better our new modern technology is today. Our high tech and compassionate care results in treatments completed in less than 45 mins in most cases. I reassure them and say that most people are surprised that the root canal was so easy. Once the dental assistant tests for numbness, we are ready to begin.
Q: How do you and Dr. Simcock work as a team?
A: Patients really like having an anesthetic specialist do the numbing. When Dr. Simcock enters the room for the root canal, the patient is already in the right frame of mind and completely numbed. He makes his own connection with them with his calm, friendly demeanor. It makes for a very caring, efficient system. From the patient’s point-of-view, it’s seamless. No delays. No hiccups. A relaxed experience.
Q: You said that you love to come to work every day. Explain that.
A: My philosophy is that you must have joy when you come to work. I think that every interaction is a chance to make a patient’s day better and turn what they worried about to be a positive and amazing experience. Sometimes just a reassuring hand on someone’s shoulder makes a huge difference. At North Sound, we are all about the patient experience. Kindness is a given.