“Oddly enough, I didn’t go to the dentist until I was 13,” says Dr. Marijana Skok, who grew up in Canada’s Manitoba province. But as soon as she did go, to remove an impacted baby tooth, “I was at an age where I could understand exactly what was happening. As soon as I met the dentist and saw what she did for me, I said to myself, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
Even though her early experiences at the dentist were positive, she understands that’s not always the case. If someone has had a bad experience in the past, “I ask them specifically what was poor about it,” she says. Then she tailors her approach accordingly—whether that’s by telling them every little thing about a procedure in real time or taking their mind off of it entirely.
Dr. Skok is proud that her patients feel comfortable around her. “They appreciate the fact that I can add a little bit of humor into appointments,” she says. “As much as the work I’m doing is serious, the environment itself isn’t serious. I want people to be relaxed.”