According to new research, 96% of people who visit their dentist at least once a year are happy with the treatment they receive. The study, commissioned by the General Dental Council (GDC) included more than 1,600 patients and member of the public who were questioned by independent research company Ipsos MORI.
The results showed that confidence in regulation and overall satisfaction is high, although patients are not as happy about how complaints and poor treatment is being dealt with. Tim Whitaker, director of policy and communications at the GDC, said that ‘The findings of the research will help to inform and influence our work in protecting patients.’
78% of patients asked said that their dental team gave them enough information about their treatment options when they last visited the dentist, but some focus groups showed that not all patients found it easy to judge the quality of treatment because they did not have a good understanding of it to begin with. Only 39% of respondents felt confident that the right action would be taken if they were overcharged or poor care was delivered.
Mr Whitaker addressed this concern, saying, ‘We take very seriously the concerns of patients who feel that appropriate action will not be taken when things go wrong. The GDC takes all complaints of poor standards very seriously and has robust procedures in place to deal with any dental professional who is not putting patients’ interests first.’