Dental Tribune International

Slow Dentistry seeks to empower dental patients

By Dental Tribune International
October 04, 2019

LUCERNE, Switzerland: Slow Dentistry is a concept developed by a group of international clinicians in order to combat the pressure to perform and achieve instant results which is often put on the dental profession by the dental industry. The concept is based on four universal key principles that patients can use as a checklist. The concept is aimed at empowering patients to be confident about their safety, well-being and comfort and at helping them better understand dental treatment.

According to a report published earlier this year, UK dentists experience a high level of self-reported stress and burn-out in their workplace. The paper suggests that future interventions should not solely focus on individual solutions, such as stress management, but also seek global solutions, such as changing aspects of the working environment. According to Slow Dentistry, a shift towards a slower pace of care would not only ensure patient safety but also reduce the triggers that cause anxiety for practitioners.

“The four cornerstones are easily identifiable and are a means to allow patients to influence their own safety and well-being at the dentist. We encourage everyone to insist on having the time to explain and understand, the time to ensure that anaesthetic is effective and to take note of all aspects of hygiene,” said Dr Miguel Stanley, a co-founder of Slow Dentistry. “Whilst we may assume this is all happening—and, in many cases, it is—the cornerstones of Slow Dentistry encourage patients to take some control over their appointments,” he commented.

“Having created a large client base through my passion and love for dentistry, I found myself overwhelmed and unable to cope with the growing patient list. It soon became evident to me that time was what I needed, and what is essential to provide the best care for my patients,” said Dr Rhona Eskander, one of the global ambassadors for Slow Dentistry.

“I then came across Slow Dentistry—the epitome of excellence in dentistry. No compromises must be made. I soon made active changes to ensure that my patients received the best. This is a platform that is long-awaited and I am honoured to be part of something that is set to shape the dental sphere through its patient-centred approach,” she continued.

The four cornerstones relate to room disinfection, informed consent, anaesthesia and rubber dam isolation, for which the patient asks the following questions:

  • Has the practice been thoroughly disinfected?
  • Have the risks and rewards been explained and have I, the patient, signed a consent form?
  • Is my anaesthetic working?
  • Is a rubber dam being used where necessary to prevent cross contamination?

More information about Slow Dentistry and its upcoming events can be found here.

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