Dental assistants learn magic to relax, reward child-patients

October 19th, 2008 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General


Dental assistants learn magic to relax, reward child patients

Photo courtesy Baltimore Sun

Jeff Teate, as a kid, didn’t like going to the dentist. Now he visits dentists and dental assistants regularly: The 42-year-old magician/balloon artist trains them to help children relax and enjoy a trip. His story is featured in the Baltimore Sun.

Teate earns anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 teaching his three-hour course — two hours for magic, one for balloon animals. It’s not difficult getting dentists and their assistants to take it, either. The class is considered as continuing education, and it beats technical dental data, Teate said.

Dr. Joel Berg, DDS, said Teate’s class is a perfect fit for his staff. He puts on a show for his younger patients and lets parents in the room at the same time, in order to make them more comfortable.


“The secret to dealing with kids is to love them,” Berg said. “When kids come to see me, I dress up in costumes sometimes, I give them toys, and I have incentives to encourage them. The magic act just gives us one more way to entertain the kids.”

Berg’s wife confirms that presentation matters when it comes to magic, even when you’re a dental assistant: She said that the assistants will roll out their newly-learned tricks in a few days, but not before they come up with a good presentation.

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