Enhancing the Consumer Expertise – Oral Well being Group



What do you consider if you hear the phrases “consumer expertise”? The consumer expertise is outlined in numerous methods, however a easy means to consider it’s how the consumer feels.

The time period consumer expertise is turning into the main focus in well being care because it has been proven to extend consumer satisfaction, employees achievement and well being outcomes.1,2

As a dental hygienist, how are you going to present an important consumer expertise? Let’s hear from some hygienists throughout the nation to get some concepts on create distinctive consumer experiences.

Kellett, RDH

Oral Well being Care Supplier
Haida Gwaii & Bella Coola,
British Columbia

For my part, the consumer expertise is outlined by the consumer. It entails the consumer feeling revered, seen and heard. expertise permits for significant communication and repair, and makes them really feel empowered.

On the coronary heart of the client-centred expertise are the 4 following core values.


Respect shoppers’ autonomy over their very own oral well being. Acknowledge that all of us have our personal experiences that have an effect on how we react and reply to a state of affairs. Present respect by not imposing our values on shoppers, however as an alternative assist and empower them to advocate for themselves and their decisions, even when their decisions don’t align with our values.

Ask First

  • As an alternative of telling shoppers what we’re going to do, we invite them and ask for permission at every step of the appointment, together with getting into the operatory.
  • Test in with the consumer all through the appointment to gauge their consolation stage.
  • Acknowledge that not everybody is aware of what they should really feel snug – they only know they’re feeling uncomfortable.
  • By no means take silence as consent or dissent.

All the things Will depend on All the things Else.

  • We take accountability for our personal power in how we present up for our shoppers. Earlier than getting into the consumer’s area, we take a gradual deep breath, and guarantee our power is in examine and that we’re not bringing in destructive power resembling agitation, frustration, impatience, and even self-importance.
  • We create an area stuffed with constructive power and issues from the pure world, resembling pure gentle and recent air. We play calming meditative music or sounds from nature to distract from sounds of the dental workplace. We use calming important oils to get rid of the dental workplace smells.

Make it Proper

  • Errors occur. Once they do, acknowledge them, with out excuses or blame. This contains not blaming or shaming the consumer for his or her oral situation. We don’t assume we all know our shoppers’ why. As an alternative, we attempt to empower them and supply entry to the instruments, assets and therapy the consumer feels will assist them on their therapeutic journey.

I seen how offering a great consumer expertise positively impacts the neighborhood. A few of our shoppers stated they’ve struggled to entry dental care prior to now as a result of they didn’t really feel revered or heard by their dental skilled. Now that they’ve a voice and are snug in our clinic, they often come to appointments. After dwelling with decay and an infection for years, they’re now decay free. A constructive dental expertise for a revered member of the family or elder is the simplest instrument in breaking the cycle of intergenerational dental trauma.

Regina Bermudez, RDH

Self-Employed Dental Hygienist
Brampton, Ontario

I imagine the consumer expertise is the shoppers’ notion of how the therapy went and contains how they felt earlier than, throughout and after the appointment. Through the appointment, lighten the temper with pleasant conversations and laughter. Laughing is an effective way to attach and calm down. When doing preventive counseling, I praise them on what they’re doing properly and advise them on what they will do higher. This units a constructive tone and doesn’t make them really feel criticized. After the appointment, the consumer ought to really feel like they had been revered and cared for.

I wish to study extra concerning the consumer: their character, why they’re right here, their job, their pursuits, how they really feel about their oral well being and what they want to change. I exploit this info in offering client-specific training and therapy planning. I make notes of what I study them and ask them about their pursuits on the subsequent go to. Shoppers really feel such as you actually care about them if you keep in mind these private conversations. Most significantly, I deal with everybody like I’d a member of the family.

Talking of household, one of many methods I’ve improved the consumer expertise is by listening to my mother. When she is my consumer, she may be very simple and offers me sincere suggestions about what she doesn’t like. Her enter makes me a greater clinician and permits me to deal with my shoppers with extra compassion and endurance. I wasn’t joking about treating my shoppers like household.

Carla Ofsite,

Medical Improvement Supervisor, dentalcorp
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

To me, the consumer expertise is a big umbrella that covers a variety of interactions between shoppers and their dental skilled. It implies that the consumer feels heard, totally understood, valued and cared for. The consumer expertise means the consumer and dental skilled are collaborating collectively to develop an individualized client-centred therapy plan.

These are some methods I present an important consumer expertise:

  • I strategy the consumer with a heat, pleasant manner
  • I meet shoppers the place they’re at
  • I at all times contain the consumer within the decision-making course of
  • I exploit motivational interviewing, asking open-ended questions
  • I exploit visible props to assist educate the consumer resembling a wellness scan to assist the consumer perceive and see what we’re seeing

An instance of how I used these methods to create a constructive consumer expertise is a consumer I met years in the past, who actually by no means brushed his tooth. At first, I judged him as I couldn’t perceive how somebody doesn’t brush! Then I believed, he’s right here to get assist and I could make a huge effect in bettering his oral well being by the best way I deal with him. I met him the place he was at and instructed easy oral well being directions, resembling brushing as soon as every week and coming again in 3 months for his subsequent hygiene appointment. To my shock, he returned, requested me, and informed me he was brushing as soon as every week. I requested him why he by no means brushed earlier than and he responded, “I used to be by no means taught to brush my tooth; my household by no means even owned a toothbrush.” He additionally informed me that his spouse has dementia and he spent his evenings visiting her in long-term care after working at his full-time job. Afterwards, he went house to stroll their canines after which fell asleep on the sofa, exhausted emotionally and bodily. Taking good care of his tooth was the very last thing on his thoughts. After listening to his story, I knew I needed to develop a custom-made dental hygiene therapy plan that would work for him. I step by step improved his oral hygiene habits and was amazed to see his progress. Constructing a rapport with him the place he felt valued and heard resulted in a greater consumer expertise and higher scientific outcomes.

As you may see, the consumer expertise is about caring for the consumer along with the scientific care you present. Take into consideration methods you may enhance the consumer expertise. Not solely will it make shoppers more healthy and happier, it’s going to make you happier, too!


  1. Well being Leaders Media Employees. (2009, December 9). Affected person expertise: 4 advantages and 5 priorities. HealthLeaders Media. Retrieved October 19, 2022, from https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/technique/patient-experience-four-benefits-and-five-priorities
  2. Gelinne, Okay. (2020, January 20). Affected person expertise: Advantages, Methods, and FAQs. Jumo Well being. Retrieved October 19, 2022, from https://www.jumohealth.com/2020/01/patient-experience-benefits-strategies-and-faqs/

Concerning the Creator

Dr. Sanjukta Mohanta graduated from the College of Toronto, School of Dentistry in 1999. She is a common dentist working towards in Brampton, Ontario. She may be reached at: sanjuktamohanta@hotmail.com


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