Don’t be scared of the dentist

While for many a trip to the dentist can be quite daunting, according to dental assistant trainee Talia Mountford, there’s absolutely nothing to be scared of.

30 Jul 2017

Talia has been selected as a North Coast regional finalist in the Queensland Training Awards School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year Award. Although modern dental techniques are completely painless, she says it’s normal for people to still feel nervous about a trip to the dentist.

“As a dental assistant, we’re trained to understand the anxiety and stress sometimes associated with dental procedures and consequently work hard to ensure patients are relaxed, comforted, and enjoy their visit as much as possible,” Talia said.

Talia is studying a Certificate III in Dental Assisting at TAFE Queensland and working at Diamond Dental Care two days a week to complement her senior schooling at Brisbane School of Distance Education.

“I’ve never been scared of going to the dentist. I’m a clean and hygienic person so it’s a natural fit for me,” Talia said.

“I assist dentists and hygienists in procedures like surgical extractions, root canal treatments, crowns and bridges, teeth cleaning, fillings and oral impressions using tools like suction units and mirrors.”

“I chose to complete a school-based traineeship because I felt it would not only be something which I’d enjoy doing, but would also increase my chances of immediate employment after Year 12.”

“I’ve been building my career since Year 10, so doing school differently means I’ll finish with a QCE as well as graduating as a qualified dental assistant,” she said.

Starting her traineeship as a self-confessed shy Year 10 student, Talia initially struggled communicating confidently with patients.

“At first I wasn’t comfortable talking to patients, I was always really nervous. But now my skills have become second nature and talking to people is easy—I feel far more confident,” Talia said.

“During dental procedures, I’m responsible for the patient’s care. I’ve learnt to overcome my nerves to make sure patients feel safe and comfortable. It’s important everyone feels welcome and cared for,” she said.

Dental Assistants are vitally important to the smooth operation of any dental practice, and as Talia nears the conclusion of both her traineeship and senior studies she’s proud of what she’s achieved and eager to build upon the skills she’s acquired.

“My training at Diamond Dental Care has really set me up for success and I’m excited to see what the future holds,” Talia said.

“School-based traineeships are a valuable way to complete your senior schooling and I thoroughly recommend it. It’s a great alternative to the OP pathway because it provides a qualification relevant to gaining employment after school.”

“My traineeship was a funded program and definitely a positive investment in my future. I was able to remain in school and study while earning a wage.”

“I have developed life skills and confidence in myself and my abilities, which assists me to communicate and interact effectively in many social situations.

Talia is a great example of a young professional who is proud of who she is and the career path she has chosen.

“I am who I am: I’m consistent, I’m honest, I’m loyal and I’m me. I am being the best ‘me’ I can be,” Talia said.

“Every day I ensure that both the care I provide and the way in which I provide it, is always of the very highest standards,” she said.


To learn more about dental courses available at TAFE Queensland visit our website or call 1300 308 2

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