Setting up a preventive dental unit
A preventive dental unit (PDU) (Figure 17.1) is ideally a self-contained area where oral health education can be given to individuals or small groups without interruption from the dental surgery. The PDU can be used to motivate and communicate with patients, often establishing a friendly, informal relationship that is not always possible during routine dental treatment.
Setting up and running a successful PDU is an interesting and rewarding challenge for the oral health educator (OHE), many patients (especially children) will look forward to regular appointments, and dental health should improve as a result.
With enthusiastic support from employers and colleagues, OHEs can set up specific projects from time to time in the PDU. These can be very informative, cover wide and varied topics and utilise oral health training to the full.
A successful PDU is dependent on staff cooperation, and it is wise to consult the dental team to gauge their views on its inclusion, location and design (a short questionnaire could be used for this – see Chapter 16).
In setting up a PDU, you will need: