Patient Care And Confidentiality
Looking at some of the non-clinical roles managed by our Burton dentists.
Almost everyone that comes to our dental clinic does so for the purposes of either maintaining a healthy set of teeth and gums or to improve the way that their teeth look. In most cases, patients want to fulfil both of these criteria. With the range of treatments that we have available, combined with the skills and experience of our dental team, we can certainly help you to achieve both of these aims.
Even a straightforward filling requires years of training before any dentist in the UK can perform this type of procedure for a patient, and even after five years of training, dentists are supervised for another year before being allowed to register as a dentist and practice alone. As you can see, the training required to perform procedures, whether simple or complex, is quite extensive. The ‘medical’ side of things isn’t the only area that is studied during this time though and patient care and the ‘administrative and legal’ issues of running a dental practice are also studied and we thought that we would take a look at these specific aspects in today’s blog.
However skilled a dentist is at carrying out a procedure, it is also essential that the equipment used is not only of a very high quality but is also scrupulously clean. This is something that we pride ourselves on at SG Dental and Implant Centre and is covered when training to become a dentist. Whilst some things are used once only before being safely disposed of, many of the implements are used repeatedly and it is essential that these are thoroughly sterilised to prevent any cross infection between patients. In order to do this, we have invested in a modern ‘autoclave’ system. This acts like a pressure cooker and will thoroughly sterilise all equipment cleaned in this way.
Communication and behaviour are essential components of any dental training course. Even if you are the best dentist in the world, patients are still likely to avoid making appointments with you if you are rude and aggressive towards them. Patients are putting their trust in us when we perform a treatment and are much more likely to feel relaxed if we are too and if we stay calm and reassure them if they are anxious about their treatment. It is not only because we want patients to feel relaxed so that they can have the best experience possible though, but to also ensure that they attend our practice for regular checkups so that their oral health can be regularly monitored. It only takes one rude or aggressive dentist to cause a patient to avoid having oral health care until such a time that they are in a lot of pain through tooth decay and toothache.
Dentists also need to find ways of explaining the procedure that is about to take place for those who wish to know. This can range from an in depth explanation for someone who is reasonably knowledgeable about dentistry, to a basic but reassuring explanation for someone who is not. Dentists will also work with very young children too and are trained in how to communicate effectively with them.
In addition to carrying out any treatments, dentists also play an important role in advising patients how to improve their general oral care regime. This can include suggestions such as changes to diet if a lot of sugar is being consumed, through to brushing suggestions such as ensuring that the rear of the back teeth are cleaned which can be quite difficult. Even simple suggestions, such as the use of floss, can make a big difference to a patient’s oral health if they take action based on the dentist’s recommendations.
When you visit a dentist, you will be asked for your medical details. This is to ensure that any treatments that are carried out are done so safely. A simple example might be where a tooth extraction is needed. If a patient were on blood thinning medication, this could lead to significant bleeding and the patient may need to consult with their GP to adjust the dosage so that the treatment can be carried out. Other medications could possibly affect things like the local anaesthetics too, so it is important that you give us accurate and up-to-date information about any health issues and medication that you are on. You can be sure that this will be treated confidentially and will not be disclosed to anyone else.
Dentists also learn about safeguarding during their training. This is to help ensure that vulnerable patients can receive treatment safely but also to act as a ‘watchdog’ for potential signs of harm or self abuse. For example, a teenager attending the clinic may have teeth that show signs of significant enamel erosion. We may then discuss this with the parents or guardians as this can be a warning sign of certain eating disorders.
We hope that this gives you a little insight into some of the things that dentists do other than perform treatments where required. We always do all that we can to maintain a friendly and relaxed practice at our Burton clinic and hope that our patients benefit from this.
If you would like to talk to us about any aspect of our practice that you think can be improved, or if you would like to book an appointment with us, please call SG Dental and Implant Centre on 01283 845345.