97% of Patients Satisfied by Their Dental Care

Dentistry Today


According to the United Kingdom’s General Dental Council (GDC), 97% of patients who have visited their dentists in the past year are satisfied with their care. Also, the number who say they are very satisfied has increased by 6% to reach 67% over the past five years. 

But the GDC’s annual Patient and Public Survey also showed that patients between the ages of 25 and 34 and those over the age of 65 are more likely to be dissatisfied, while patients from an ethnic minority are less likely to be very satisfied than those who are white.

On average, seven out of 10 people visit the dentists every year, though that number drops to 55% among those who are more economically disadvantaged. These levels are largely unchanged from previous years.

Meanwhile, 74% of patients want to be told about the costs of the planned treatment before it begins, and 68% want a description of it. Also, 69% called the practice’s hygiene and cleanliness the most important factors during treatment, and 64% said the quality of care was the most important. 

The GDC, which qualifies professionals, sets standards, investigates complaints, and regulates education in the United Kingdom, also asked the public about what kinds of sanctions would be most appropriate for misconduct among dental professionals, including:

  • Prescription mistakes leading to hospitalization
  • The wrong tooth getting extracted
  • Racist comments by professionals on personal Facebook pages
  • Charges of drunk and disorderly behavior outside of the office 
  • Rude responses to patient complaints

Generally, the public expects more severe action when wrongdoing takes place during treatment and involves poor care, as opposed to behavior during personal time, if it doesn’t impact the professional’s work. 

For example, 42% said a dentist who accidentally prescribes the wrong medication leading to serious side effects should be suspended, 21% said such dentists should be removed from the register, and 3% favored no action.

When a dentist is charged by the police for drunk and disorderly behavior during a night out, 42% said no action should be taken, 13% said the dentist should be suspended, and 10% said the dentist should be removed from the register. 

However, about half thought a dentist should be removed from the register (19%) or suspended (28%) for posting racist comments on Facebook, while 28% thought a reprimand would be appropriate, and 13% said no action should be taken.

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