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Patients happy with dental care

It may seem to dentists that their patients do not enjoy visiting them, and indeed it is often true that the process makes many people anxious. However, oral healthcare practitioners can take comfort in the fact that patient confidence in the dental profession is actually extremely high.

A new survey, commissioned by the General Dental Council (GDC) and conducted by Ipsos MORI, has found that 96 per cent of people who visit the dentist once a year are satisfied with the dental care or treatment that they receive. Over 1,600 patients were surveyed, and the results are extremely positive.

For example, 78 per cent of those surveyed said they had been given enough treatment options during their last visit to the dentist. When asked if they thought the GDC was regulating dentists effectively, 77 per cent said that was correct.

However, the results of the survey also point to a number of areas in which the dental profession has room for improvement. For example, 39 per cent of people said they did not think appropriate action would be taken to deal with patients being overcharged.

Similarly, 40 per cent said they thought the right steps would not be taken to deal with poor dental care being delivered to residents in a care home, and 38 per cent said the same for care delivered to disabled patients.

Tim Whitaker, director of policy and communications at the GDC, said: “The findings of this research will help to inform and influence our work in protecting patients. The GDC takes all complaints of poor standards very seriously and has robust procedures in place to deal with any dental professional who is not putting patients’ interests first.”

Only 41 per cent of respondents said that there had been a simple price list on display at the dental practice they visited. This is something that all dentists should provide, and it can be a good dental marketing tool as will. It is often useful for dentists to take notice of their patients’ needs and provide for them, as this will make them more likely to return.

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