39% of people in the UK do not attend dental practices on a regular basis
This to me seems most strange for a number of reasons. 80% of people who regularly attend the dentist say that they are very satisfied and 92% of people who have tried to make an appointment got one. Both very high percentages indeed! Patients are satisfied and can make appointments. This should be a sure fire way to success. So why aren’t people coming?
Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons:
1) Fear of dental treatment
A whopping 42% of people were scared of the drill particularly to the noise. Way back in 2011 I remember reading this article about headphones that cancel out the noise of the drill. Since it seems nothing came of this, most bog standard noise cancelling headphones would reduce the noise and can be picked up for £20 a pop. Advertising this would surely increase patient attendance.
2) Clinical smells
To be honest I have always been keen on the smell of oil of cloves and disinfectant, it smells clinical and clean. However I can understand for some patients why it smells foreign and scary. Simply plug in a lavender air freshener and that should change the environment completely.
3) Cost of dental treatment
I was recently speaking to a friend who said they were putting off dental treatment until I graduated because of cost. I asked her to tell me how much they thought a filling would cost under the NHS. They said £100! No wonder people are not coming. The number of dental practices that I have seen hiding price lists behind reception desks is faintly amazing. We should be stapling it to the front door like restaurants do.
As you can see high satisfaction rates and low barriers to entry does not seem to be enough to entice everyone to the dentist. We should be going above and beyond our duty to make sure that patients feel cared for.