Survey shows what patients look for when choosing a dentist

Ensuring patients’ teeth and gums (90%) are healthy is the most important value when choosing a dentist, research shows.

The Consumer Oral Health Survey 2019 from Simplyhealth Professionals asked patients what they look for when choosing a dental practice.

Confidence the surgery is sterile and hygienic (90%) was joint first, with trust in my dentist (89%) just behind.

‘Our data trends show that confidence in surgery hygiene, ensuring the health of teeth and gums and trust in their dentist continue to be the most important factors to patients for a sixth year,’ Dr Catherine Rutland, head of professional support services at Simplyhealth Professionals, said.

‘Interestingly, the desire for cosmetic treatments has risen by 80% year on year.

‘These valuable insights are helpful to tailor services and patient communications.’

Rise in cosmetics

Offering cosmetic treatments (38%) is now listed as one of the top values patients look for when choosing their dentist.

Almost half of patients (42%) value awards and accreditations the practice has won.

The rest of the results show:

  • 90% – confidence that the surgery is sterile and hygienic
  • 90% – the dentist will ensure the health of my teeth and gums
  • 89% – trust in my dentist
  • 88% – treatments and procedures are explained clearly
  • 87% – good customer service
  • 87% – being seen quickly in an emergency
  • 84% – convenience of appointment times
  • 84% – being seen on time for appointments
  • 82% – convenience of practice location
  • 82% – steps to maintain oral health between appointments are clearly communicated
  • 81% – value for money
  • 79% – reputation/recommendation of practice
  • 50% – they offer a range of payment options
  • 42% – quality awards and accreditations
  • 38% – they offer cosmetic treatments
  • 34% – they offer cosmetic non-dental treatments.

‘As cosmetic dentistry is on the rise, it is important for dentists to continue to evolve with their patients,’ Dr Rutland continued.

Satisfied patients

The survey shows 85% of adults that visit the dentist regularly are satisfied with the dental care they receive.

This rises to 93% for those patients on a dental plan.

‘It is reassuring that a high percentage of patients are satisfied with the dental care they receive,’ Dr Rutland concluded.

‘Particularly, 87% of adults aged 55 and over were satisfied which was the highest of all age groups monitored.’

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