I frequently get asked “what is the difference between private and NHS care in dentistry” and I have always felt that the number one commodity that private care can provide above NHS care is time. Now I realise that very few people think that spending more time at the dentist is a good thing and on one level, of course, they are right but actually spending the right amount of time is exactly what all patients should want, all of the time. Of course we can be very proud of the surroundings we have created at StoneRock and the exceptional level of equipment and technical skill available for every aspect of dental care that we offer is second to none but, I believe, the one single thing that we provide a world class service for is listening; hence the title of this blog. By allowing more time at every appointment but, perhaps, most crucially at the first visit or Initial Consultation, we allow the time to listen to our patients and, most importantly, hear what they are saying. There is an old, old adage in medicine and dentistry that reads “listen to the patient; they are telling you the diagnosis” and this is one of the great truisms of all health care.
When patients, new or existing, come to us we want them to tell us how they are feeling because when they do we stand a far better chance of providing the appropriate care in a successful and predictable manner. Whether someone is pain or worried about how their teeth look or feel, we want to hear about it. A thorough dental (or medical) history requires time and skill to acquire. Knowing when to probe with more questions and when to shut up and listen is a skill that takes years to develop but without the time to do it properly we will never hear those vital clues that patients can give us and the correct diagnosis will remain forever undiscovered leaving treatments to fail and problems to become chronic in a cycle of repetition that is, at best, wasteful to the patient and at worst damaging as well.
Our reception team know what to ask when you phone in pain and our dentists all know what the signs and symptoms that we take note of are telling us. At each appointment we aim to have the time to allow us to discuss the aspects of your dental care that need addressing, the options of treatment available to you, the pros and cons of each option and, if necessary, the cost of the proposed care. The conversations can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the nature of the issue but when this time is cut or worse omitted, the quality of the care drops and the complications rise. Unfortunately this additional time costs and ultimately that is reflected in the cost of private care but to my mind, in this increasingly rushed world we live in, it is the most valuable thing that we can offer. If you feel that you are currently not being given the right amount of time for your care then come and see us and we promise to listen to what you tell us, heat what you say and discuss with you our findings before we ever start any treatment.
If you would like to book an initial consulation with us then please call reception on 01580752202 or email our reception team on stonerockreception