Communication Between Dentist and Patient

Finding a good dentist can go a long way in improving and maintaining an individual’s oral health.  Obviously, visiting the dentist regularly is critical, but even more important is the effort with which a person maintains a positive oral hygiene routine.  Millions of Americans skip the dentist regularly and are not well educated on the importance of their oral health, leading to a widespread oral disease epidemic in our country. In an effort to improve oral care, industry experts have investigated the importance of patient satisfaction when visiting their dentist.  Theoretically, it is believed that if you like your dentist, you’re more likely to care more about your oral health.  According to a recent Dental Tribune article, a study out of the University of Florida found that how patients felt about their dental visits didn’t always align with the level of satisfaction the dentists thought they were achieving.

The goal of the study was to use patient satisfaction as an essential element in the assessment of quality of oral care.  Researchers compared the dentist’s view of the patient’s experience with the patient’s satisfaction rating.  For this particular study, participants had recently experienced a restorative procedure. 197 dental practices and 5,315 patients participated in the study.  The study found that nearly 90% of the dentists believed that their patients were satisfied with their treatment.  In reality, 86% (4,589) were happy, while the remainder was displeased.  Not too shabby. But here’s where it got interesting.  Of the 726 patients who were dissatisfied, dentists were only aware of about 42 of them.  That means that 684 were unhappy, unbeknownst to the dentists.  And as it turns out, patients were most dissatisfied with the lack of communication and information available about their procedure.  While the theory that positive dental experiences yields better oral health wasn’t examined in this study, the information is still valuable.  Assuming that this concept is indeed true, the study shows that both dentists and patients need to do a better job at communicating.

The professionals at Miami Dental Sedation Spa pride themselves on the personal, comprehensive, and relaxing experience they provide.  They take great time and care to thoroughly pursue the right treatment with patience, gentleness, and professionalism.  If several treatment plans are appropriate, a good deal of time is spent ensuring the patient fully understands their options before one is selected by both parties involved.   Establishing open communication is critical in achieving the highest level of oral health possible, which is always the ultimate goal.

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