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L I V E 2 4 -SE V EN


WELCOME TO THE NEW ERA OF DIGITAL DENTISTRY: A PATIENT CENTRED APPROACH


Dr Jelley, BDS, DipDH (GDC 6280)


Dentistry has always encompassed the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases of the mouth which have essentially remained the same throughout time. The same cannot be said for the delivery of its service, with patient experience being the hot topic in modern day dentistry which has evolved to make the patients experience as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Advancements in the latest technology combined with high levels of expertise ensures that each and every patient can be provided with a first- class service.


Inviting Environment There is often talk of a stereotype around dental practices; that they carry a clinical smell and are usually decorated with plain walls, where it seems little to no thought has been put into the experience each patient has every time they visit - which is usually 2-4 times per year for both dental and hygiene appointments. Alongside incredible advancements where dental technology is concerned, many dental surgeries are altering their approach to ‘decoration’ to encompass these advancements and produce a welcoming, relaxing environment for all of their patients.


Entering a dental practice can be a nerve- wrecking experience for patients. However, modern dentistry aims to provide a calm and tranquil environment without the clinical feel to make the experience as stress free as possible. As well as finer details such as the magazine selection or the type of seating in the waiting room, music can be


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streamed throughout the practice and can be tailored to your particular tastes. Similarly, your practice may be able to show your favourite television programmes or movies during your treatment to make your experience as enjoyable as possible!


Anxiety Around Dentistry If you're anxious about visiting your dentist or having any treatment, there are steps that can be taken to reduce your anxiety. Modern dentistry allows for time to be taken with each patient, during which treatment plans are carefully explained to give information, options and reassurance prior to any procedure being carried out. Your dentist is there to explain the best course of action for you and to support you. Most modern practices now offer a numbing gel to facilitate more comfortable injections whilst sedation may also be offered to calm your nerves. Your dentist will be able to advise the best way in which to proceed.


Technological Developments Digital technology is now a part of modern dentistry. This includes, online booking systems, digital x-rays and the facilities to record medical histories on a tablet which automatically updates patient records on the computer system. These advancements mean dental practices can now be virtually paperless, they can also create their own identity through branding which can be transferred to their websites. Many patients appreciate the fact that they can 'meet the team' before even entering the practice by viewing photos of staff on the website as well as finding out about treatments offered, some practices also have the ability for patients to book appointments online.


Moving into the surgery, technological developments have made the unknown, known. Through the use of fibre optic hand pieces, LED lights and intraoral cameras patients are now able visualise the inside of their own mouths. Dentists are able to show each patient images on screens in the surgery, enabling them to talk in detail about treatment plans, oral hygiene techniques and at the touch of a button can show patients plaque that is up to 24hours old.


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