Patients just want to talk to the dentist

New research from the British Dental Trade Association (BDTA) reveals a significant proportion of patients (20%) are ‘warm’ to a variety of elective treatments although currently awareness of available treatments is quite low.

The BDTA commissioned Bray Leino, one of the UK’s leading market research agencies within healthcare, to conduct the research amongst 1,500 members of the general public.

It found that patients would welcome the opportunity to spend more time talking to their dentist about available treatments and their pros and cons to help them make more informed treatment choices.

The research confirms that patients have a very high degree of trust in their dentist, even greater than in their doctor, with 88% of all respondents satisfied (46.6% extremely happy and 41.8% fairly happy) with the level of service they receive.

Not only are dentists highly trusted, but by far the majority of patients, both NHS and private alike, found their current dentist by word of mouth.

Similarly they would choose a personal recommendation from family and friends over any other means of finding a new dentist if they needed to (67% private:65% NHS).

This is good news for dental practices enabling them to develop an approach to encourage recommendations knowing they will be helping people find a dentist through their preferred route.

Unsurprisingly, fear was found to be a compelling inhibitor, particularly amongst infrequent attenders, however for many patients (59%) a ‘friendly and relaxing environment’ helps them to overcome this barrier.

Together with trustworthiness, ‘value for money’ was cited as the most motivating of all messages for infrequent patients. In today’s era of austerity with rising household bills and reduced disposable income, clearly priced personal treatment plans will resonate well with patients.

Based on these findings the BDTA, in collaboration with the UK Dental Association Alliance, has produced the Top Ten Insights to Successfully Grow Your Dental Practice, download your free copy at:

The research findings are available at or contact the BDTA on 01494 782873.

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