21: Patient Communication in Dental Care

21

Patient communication in dental care

Figure 21.1 Communication with the patient

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Figure 21.2 A patient’s potential concerns about a visit to the dentist.

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Figure 21.3 Tailor-made patient information.

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As dentists we wish to establish a good rapport with our patients. Doing so makes both the patient and dental team’s experience more positive and also more productive. The dental team is discussed further in Chapter 42. Oral hygiene advice for patients is discussed in Chapter 20. It is important to be aware of the importance of non-verbal communication in achieving a reassuring and welcoming environment for the patient. Verbal communication must seek to identify and explore the patient’s dental complaint while empathising with their concerns and building up a trusting relationship (Fig. 21.1).

Patient concerns

There are plenty of reasons why a patient may have some negative thoughts about an impending dental visit, as shown in Fig. 21.2. Organising the practice or hospital set-up and structure of the dental visit with these in mind can help to improve the patient’s experience:

• Prior information: directions to the practice or hospital, parking situation, where to report and what the visit may involve if appropriate.
• Avoid ‘telling the patient off ’.
• The patient needs to understand their role in disease and management but avoid blaming the patient: putting their condition into the context of the population at large or the dentist’s own experience can help the/>

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Jan 14, 2015 | Posted by in Periodontics | Comments Off on 21: Patient Communication in Dental Care
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