Consistent proactive dental care advice helps patients prioritize oral health and serves as a preventive approach to protect their overall health, yet only 1 in 3 oral health professionals in the U.K. offer this advice, according to a new survey.
Patients can attest to that -- 1 in 4 reported not receiving any preventive advice during their last dental appointment, according to a press release dated November 30 from the College of General Dentistry.
“Working in the industry, we must find ways to support the availability and accessibility of preventative oral care for all,” Dr. Kate Fabrikant, PhD, medical affairs director, Northern Europe, Haleon, said in the press release.
Meanwhile, about half of oral health professionals reported that offering advice on oral hygiene products and brushing techniques were critical, but only about 34% considered discussing gum care as preventive advice, according to the results of the “Dental Health Barometer” survey conducted by consumer health company Haleon in collaboration with the school. This survey was conducted in August 2023 and covered a nationally representative sample of 2,000 U.K. consumers and 505 dental health professionals.
Furthermore, about 59% of oral health professionals said they were more likely to talk about prevention with patients who had private dental coverage over public insurance. Approximately 37% claimed that coverage limits of public insurance were the primary reasons why they don’t routinely discuss prevention with their patients, according to the results.
“We will continue to support dental professionals in facilitating behavioural change towards better oral health in their patients, whilst improving health literacy of the patients to seek out and engage in preventative care, to help them practice better everyday self-care and avoid longer term dental issues,” Fabrikant said.