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Dental example: Assessing needs and delivering treatment

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Key question: effective?

Oral health promotion

The practice took a team approach to improving the oral health of its patients and the local population. As a practice, it planned annually who to target and how to do this.

They actively identified specific population groups who were at an increased risk of poor oral health, and planned and implemented a number of initiatives specifically targeting these groups.

For example, they were building on work they had previously carried out in training staff at a nursing home to carry out oral health care, and were focusing specifically on people who had dementia.

This is notable practice because of the proactive approach to oral health promotion.

Tackling oral health inequalities

The practice was instrumental in establishing a local charity which supported dental practices to sponsor a local school. Within that school it provided topical fluoride application, detailed advice on preventative oral health and advice on diet. To date, every school in Hull was supported by a dental practice.

This is now being implemented in areas of deprivation and has helped to build a network to ensure best working arrangements and support.

This is notable as it demonstrates a commitment to tackling oral health inequalities by using the different skills in the practice and supporting the local community.

Raising awareness of health conditions

The practice was proactive about providing patients with information about their oral health and general wellbeing. The practice manager told us they promoted specific national and local campaigns each month, for example bowel cancer in April and respiratory diseases in August.

Information was available for patients in the waiting area and also in the quarterly patient newsletter. In each treatment room, there were details of local support groups for patients’ health and wellbeing such as bereavement counselling, dementia care and smoking cessation. This helped staff to let patients know how they could find information and support from local services.

This is notable as it shows a commitment to raising awareness of other health conditions - not just those related to oral health.

Encouraging oral health

The dental hygienists had a strong focus on supporting and encouraging patients to improve their oral health. They used each appointment to promote good oral health, and also used social media to provide information to patients and to promote their business.

For example, in recent months they had posted information about what happens as a result of poor oral hygiene and the dangers of sugar in soft drinks; they also promoted National Smile Month and information about correct brushing technique and a 'toothbrush amnesty' for children. The practice ran regular competitions and gave oral health and general health-related products as prizes.

This shows a commitment to educating patients about good oral health.

Key line of enquiry

E1: Are people’s needs assessed and care and treatment delivered in line with current legislation, standards and evidence based guidance?

See all the key lines of enquiry in our handbook for dental providers.

Last updated:
10 August 2017