Patient communication in dental care
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).
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: