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Patients’ confidence in dental professionals is high

 

 New research, commissioned by the General Dental Council (GDC), has found 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, have looked into issues surrounding the regulation of dentistry and the standards of treatment.

 

In the last 12 months alone 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[1], which anyone can do on the GDC’s website www.gdc-uk.org

 

A significant majority of those asked (68%) are confident that the GDC is an effective regulator. Many identify with the GDC’s aims[2] and agree that the GDC protects the patient (80%), has a clear regulatory role (72%) and is trustworthy (66%). 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. We have already run registrant events across the UK and issued an open call for feedback on our website. Early in 2012 we will also hold a formal consultation – so there is still a chance to have your say on this key piece of work.