14 Oct 2016  •  Dentistry Confidence Monitor  •  2min read By  • Alun Rees

Alun Rees’ views on the results of the fourth NHS Confidence Monitor Survey

The negativity continues with the responses to this survey. I do wonder when the profession will wake up and smell the coffee. The NHS is not going to improve, there is no magical new contract, in fact the reports from the trial practices show things may well get worse with a new contract. It is not in the Government’s thinking to do what dentists want, they are wedded to austerity and will do what they need to make that policy work for all. There is no more money, there will not be any more money. 

Dentists are trained to be dentists to the best of their abilities and to do their best for their patients, not to fulfil a mediocre contract. They, not The Department of Health, are the dental professionals.

When it comes to improving public perception of dentistry, it’s about time that those in dentistry who have most direct contact with ‘the public’ make a greater effort to improve their patients’ perception of dentistry. I am talking about dentists and their teams of course, they need to be far more proactive in raising the awareness of the value of dental health and the improvement in confidence that a good smile can bring. Every patient in every practice in the land ought to be a walking, talking advocate of dental health and wellbeing.

“Every patient in every practice in the land ought to be a walking, talking advocate of dental health and wellbeing.”

There is no point in dentists expecting somebody else to do it for them. The Government will not, neither will the BDA, the GDC nor the CQC. It is time that dentists shared what they know, and believe, about the benefits that quality dentistry brings.

Dentistry has hidden its lamp under a bushel for far too long. Now is the hour, it’s time to grasp the nettle and for all members of the dental team, led by dentists, to engage with their communities, large and small, in every way that they can and shout from the rooftops about the great things that 21st century dentistry can bring.

To read the full results of the fourth NHS Confidence Monitor survey, click here.


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