Does Dentistry In Britain Need To Change?

July 10th, 2013
Does Dentistry In Britain Need To Change?

Yes, according to a health forum.

The health forum was held on the 2nd July which looked at how dentistry can be improved and, how the new contract and commissioning of services will be implemented.

The forum found that the general public no longer simply accessed dental services without a by or leave. Rather they are becoming more discerning and questioning.

As such, the health forum believes that dentists and the profession must begin to change its own culture to ensure it meets the changing perceptions of patients.

One area which concerned patients was a lack of clarity. Recent surveys have found that the under 30s were more likely to leave a practice and search out other services which offer them something better.

The survey polled no fewer than 550 patients. Those under 30 were ready to change to another practice if the care they received was not as good as expected.

Agreeing with this need for change, John Milne, chair of the BDA’s general dental practice committee told reporters: “…a lack of clarity produces risks and makes patients vulnerable to exploitation.”

He believes that for the profession to continue to keep the respect of patients, the overall culture of dentistry must change.

He added that oral health is changing and patients’ expectations are a lot higher.

However for the new ideas to be implemented effectively, Dr. Milne also said they must be phased-in, otherwise there is a danger of clogging up appointment books; something that already appears to be happening since many appointments last longer than was previously the case.

Another issue, while not discussed in detail is nevertheless vital. This is the culture within a practice. Nowadays (particularly in large surgeries), dental practitioners work as a team.

Dental practitioners believe this is something that should be embraced more.

Shalin Mehra a GDP and managing director of a dental practice group also suggested that practices should adopt a more holistic approach when treating patients.

Oral health is no longer just about treating cavities and extracting teeth. It also has strong links to general health.


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