Bradley and Partners discuss the qualities which make for a great dentist/patient relationship.
When a patient goes to see a dentist, the number one thing that they want of course, is to know that they have the skills required to carry out the required procedure. In the UK, this is strictly regulated and certain basic qualifications and training are needed to become a general dentist.
Those, like some of our own Canterbury dentists, who go on to offer more complex procedures such as tooth implant placement, also undergo additional training. All of these qualifications are required by the GDC (General Dental Council) before a dentist can register and practise in the UK.
Having the skills to perform a procedure though is not the only requisite for being a good dentist. For example, however technically good your dentist was, you probably wouldn’t choose that practice if the staff were rude and shouted at you … not what you’d need before an appointment!
In today’s blog, we will take a look at some of the ‘extra’ but important qualities that make for a good dentist.
Good chairside manner
As hinted at above, the way that a dentist communicates with a patient is extremely important, especially if the patient suffers from anxiety, as some do. An unhurried and calm approach works best for most patients and helps to put them at ease. This is beneficial to both parties as it allows for the procedure to be carried out quickly and with as little stress as possible. A good chairside manner also means that the patient is likely to return to the practice and not seek out another practice in their area.
Good time management
No one likes to be kept waiting, particularly in a waiting room. Although we do our best to make our waiting rooms as pleasant a place to stay as possible, most patients would rather see the dentist as soon as possible and then go. This is understandable as many also have busy lives, so keeping to a schedule as best as possible is important. Of course, there may be times when a treatment takes longer than expected due to unforseen circumstances, and we hope that patients understand this, but at the Bradley and Partners Dental And Implant Clinic, we do our best to keep appointment times on track as much as possible.
Transparency around your oral health and procedures
Although some patients simply don’t wish to know what their upcoming procedure entails and will avoid talking about it, others are much more interested and find it helpful to understand what will happen. Especially these days, as it is easy to find false information if you search on the internet, it is important that dentists tell their patients what they need to know about their procedure. This should be done in a non technical way so that the patient understands, and also offer advice on where to find further information for those who wish to find out more detail.
Treat every patient as an individual
Every person that comes to see us is different and as we get to know patients over time, our dentists will adapt their approach accordingly; but in all cases, professional. Some patients like to make small talk and find that it helps them to relax, whilst others want us to say as little as possible and get the procedure done so that they can leave again. Adapting to each patient and making sure that they feel valued as individuals is important to us.
A good support team
You wouldn’t want a dentist to have to take notes and to fetch any equipment or mix a filling material rather than focussing on the treatment in hand. This is the role of the assistant and they play an important role in providing high quality oral care. Focus and attention to detail are important for this role as you don’t want an assistant to drop implements or have to ask for instructions to be repeated. Thankfully, we are proud of all of our team, including the nurses and our admin back-up who keep everything running smoothly. Everyone employed here has a very important role to play and we make sure that ongoing training is available to ensure we keep fully up-to-date.
Unfortunately, we are still unable to provide you with a date when our practice will be open again. As other businesses, such as retail, are due to open soon, we hope that dental practices will follow shortly and we will keep you advised.
Until such time, we continue to offer telephone advice only and you can call our Canterbury dental practice on 01227 463529 where one of our team is on hand to offer assistance.