‘Happy’ patients fail to check dentists’ credentials

New figures reveal that most dental patients are happy with the sevice they get.

But many fail to check whether their dentist or dental care professional is properly registered.

That’s according to a survey commissioned by the GDC which suggests 94% of patients are confident in the dental treatment they’re receiving – and 95% are satisfied.
Two independent opinion surveys, one targeting dental professionals and the other patients and members of the public, looked into issues on the regulation of dentistry and standards of treatment.
In the last 12 months, 65% of those asked had visited a dentist and 70% were very or fairly confident that, if they needed to make a complaint, it would be resolved fairly, whether by the GDC or another appropriate body.
The surveys found that the public believe regulation and registration of dentists is important, but 44% of dental patients do not check whether their dentist or dental care professional is properly registered.
A significant majority of those asked (68%) are confident that the GDC is an effective regulator.

Many identify with the GDC’s aims and agree that the GDC protects the patient (80%), has a clear regulatory role (72%) and is trustworthy (66%).

And 48% of dental professionals believe the level of regulation as a whole is about right, with 39% saying it is too much.
The research featured a series of questions that explored registrants’ views about standards and professionalism.

The key drivers of patients’ confidence included: behaviour, quality of care and good communication.

The results are being fed into the GDC’s wider review of its ‘Standards for dental professionals’ guidance.
Chief Executive and Registrar of the GDC, Evlynne Gilvarry said: ‘The findings of this research will inform and influence our work in protecting  patients. For example, the evidence about the value and importance for patients of communication and people skills is a key message being fed into the review of our Standards guidance for dental professionals that’s taking place at the moment.’

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