Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the dental industry? Welcome to the 4th edition of our ‘A Day In My Scrubs’ blog series, where we hear from healthcare professionals in different specialties about what it’s like to work in their role. In this particular post, you will hear from Petrina or some of you may know her as @petrinadental on Instagram, about a typical day for her as a Dental Hygienist and Therapist.
'A Day in my Scrubs’
by Petrina Marsh
The hardest part of the day for me… getting out of bed. I am not a morning person and usually my morning routine consists of making a quick breakfast, morning skincare, making a fuss of my three beagles and choosing a pair of my Happythreads scrubs to wear before driving to work.
Ready and set up for dental clinic. I have a look through the notes, X-rays and treatments planned for my patients.
My day is a mix of everything. This morning we have several composite restorative appointments followed by some aesthetic whitening consultations and 3 adult and kids check ups before lunch.
Every day is different as a dental therapist and I enjoy the variation of appointments throughout the day.
The Whitening consultations today involve taking photos and dental impressions of the teeth. I also use a shade guide to show the patients their current shade of teeth and the shade expected after the whitening.
The kids' dental check ups today were quite challenging and involved lots of chatter about ‘Frozen’ and ‘Spiderman’ to keep them distracted. I always give the kids a chance to hold my dental mirror and blow air and water through my 3 in 1 to help gain familiarisation with the dental environment. This helps to gain their trust and prevent any fears. Afterwards, my nurse helps the children choose a sticker whilst I talk to the parents about their child's dental health and any treatment plans.
12:45 - 1:00 pm
Morning patients over, I finish writing my notes and upload photos from the morning onto the system. I usually use this time before lunch to prepare for my afternoon patients. Eventually my stomach starts growling and it's time for lunch.
1:00 - 2:00 pm
Finally some lunch with the rest of my dental team. It's great to catch up with everyone and chat about weekend plans. Usually In good weather I will go for a walk on the beach to get some fresh air and unwind from the morning.
2:00 -5:00 pm
This afternoon I have 2 Invisalign patients, a periodontal initial assessment and a few Airflow appointments. I’ve only recently started seeing Invisalign patients and I enjoy seeing the transformations in patients smiles.
During the periodontal assessment I assessed the patients gum health, determined risk factors and gave the patient important oral hygiene advice to help manage their gum disease at home and prevent it from worsening. I also took lots of measurements of periodontal pockets and discussed a treatment plan with the patient.
Usually I finish work at 6pm on Mondays. I finish my notes from the afternoon session and head home.
6:00 - 7:45 pm
After work I have a quick snack and then head off to swim training. I love swimming in the evenings because it relaxes my shoulders and posture after a day of sitting in one position. It also helps me unwind after busy days and I enjoy seeing my friends.
On Friday afternoons in the lighter summer months I sometimes take my paddle board to the beach to relax.
8:00 - 10:00 pm
I eat some dinner and watch some Netflix before getting ready for bed. By this time I am usually exhausted and fall asleep quickly, ready to do it all over again!
A little bit about Petrina
Petrina qualified from the University of Portsmouth in 2021 with a First Class Honours degree in BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy.
Petrina has a keen interest in preventative and minimally invasive aesthetic dentistry. She is also passionate about improving dental experiences for nervous and phobic patients, by creating a friendly and welcoming environment in which to work.
Outside of her clinical practice, Petrina utilises modern online platforms to promote effective dental care, as well as being an avid swimmer and proud owner of three pet beagles.
Day in my Scrubs #2 - Nurse Yusra
Day in my Scrubs #3 - Angela Greene
Interview With Bronagh Keene AKA Ireland's Tooth Fairy