A visit to the dentist should be interactive whereby questions regarding infection control are asked. And enquiries on essentials such as dental gloves, face masks and sterilising units for instruments are made to ensure things be in place. This is a right of the patient, it also protects against quackery. Hence the dentist’s mirrors, probes and instruments should be sterile and aseptic.Diagnostic aids such as dental x-ray machines most often are a requirement for best practices – whilst this may not necessarily be compulsory. It is essential.
Questions about specific treatment will be gladly answered by your dentists. The dentists is able to explain alternative treatments should such subsists.
Records of treatment are kept confidential. These are not shared with third party except in medicolegal situations or with the consent of the parents/custodians in the case of a minor.
Ethics makes it essential that dentist provide maximum satisfaction and comparable standard of oral health care for their patient’s treatment needs, with the least discomfort to the patient from the period of entry into the surgery till subsequent departure from clinic, including post consultation period.
The dental team is trained to be courteous. The environment should be friendly both in its decor and colour scheme. Cleanliness is paramount, educational leaflets often are available whilst in the reception area.
The use of the media via websites of dental practices endears the patients to be practice. Feedback mechanisms and suggestion box (satisfaction box) have been used by some surgeries in recent times.
Efforts should be made to keep tenaciously to appointments at time of the surgery to avoid delays, lost man-hours. Accessibility of dental clinics is also essential, every effort is made by dentist that members of the society do not go through stress in accessing his clinic or service. The location on the ground floor is good and provision of ramps and other easy assisitive devices be in place to ensure wheel chair accessibility of people with mobility problems or the physically challenged.
The baby-mother friendly/children friendly corners in the waiting room endears the patients to a not too hospital setting. Newer practices are using children programmes -cartoons, posters, soft relaxing music to make the dental experience more pleasant.
Intra oral cameras are made to depict oral situations visually. They could even be mailed or printed. Interactive services are available at some surgeries’ centres.
Recommended oral products or display can be easily accessed by patients. The drawback for many may be financial, however the presence of health insurance schemes makes this less of a burden.
A twice-yearly visit to the dentist or at the least once a year is recommended for all and sundry. Do not wait until you have symptoms of oral health problems before visiting the dentist.
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