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Why Patient Education and Counseling Is Important in Wellness Dentistry

June 15, 2024
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Everybody knows that oral hygiene is the key to good physical health. You can ask people to brush and floss, but what is the right way to do it? Therefore, wellness dentistry focuses on patient education and counseling. Every dental professional must prioritize it.

Even if you have a strong bond with your patients, educating them can be difficult. Patients might feel too busy, scared, or uninformed. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand patient education to overcome such challenges easily.

What Is Patient Education?

Patient education means explaining dental procedures and oral health concepts in easy-to-understand terms. Dentists or their assistants might teach patients about basic but important topics, like the importance of brushing and flossing.

They can also explain more complex topics, like why a specific dental material is used for a crown, bridge, or implant. Patients feel more confident about their treatment when they understand the dentist’s recommendations.

Benefits of Patient Education and Counseling

Educating dental patients helps you make a meaningful impact on their lives. When you provide knowledge, they gain better health. There are many benefits to patient education, and it includes several positive outcomes. Such as:

  • Improved Quality of Life

Oral diseases are common but often preventable. Some common dental problems include:

  • 25% of children ages 2-5 have tooth decay.
  • 50% of children ages 12-15 have tooth decay.
  • Nearly 25% of adults ages 20-64 have untreated cavities.
  • 25% of adults 65 and older have no natural teeth left.

Dental hygiene education can help people of all ages prevent these issues. Preventing oral diseases improves health, comfort, and happiness, enhancing quality of life.

Increased Oral Health Literacy

According to research, almost 8% of adults never receive explanations from doctors that they can understand, which ties back to health literacy. The American Dental Association (ADA) defines health literacy as the ability to get, process, and understand basic health information to make decisions about oral health. Following are some ways in which increasing oral health literacy can help:

  • Encouraging better oral health practices
  • Increasing understanding of health information
  • Reducing the risk of miscommunication
  • Providing educational resources helps patients understand and maintain proper oral hygiene.
  • Building Patient Trust

Success in oral health care often depends on the patient’s actions. Conditions like periodontal disease and dental caries require patients to follow treatment plans. This also includes regular brushing, flossing, checkups, and a healthy diet.

Thoroughly educating patients about preventive hygiene and oral health improvement shows you care. When patients know you have their best interests at heart, they are more likely to trust and follow your advice.

How Can Dentists Educate Patients?

Patient education often begins even before the exam. Many dental offices have visual aids on the walls or computer screensavers that provide interesting and educational content for patients while they wait.

Active patient education starts after the doctor shares the results of a complete or periodic exam. Using active listening skills is crucial for building trust. It addresses every patient’s concern efficiently. Once the dentist understands the patient’s level of understanding, they can correct any misconceptions and answer questions.

During these conversations, dentists should communicate clearly. They can explain their points using visual aids, models, radiographs, intraoral photos, or drawings. Studies show that visual aids greatly improve patients’ understanding of their dental condition and treatment options.

Wrapping Up

Wellness dentistry prevents major dental issues from developing and existing minor issues from progressing. Therefore, patient education and counseling work like a helpful tool for dentists.

Visit Dr. Saba Ahmed at Village Park Family Dentists of Cypress. Our dentist focuses on patient education and delivers oral hygiene presentations at local schools. Call us at (281) 376-4444 for an appointment.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs. All blogs are meant to be educational. We advise always consulting with a professional before attempting anything written in a blog. We can not guarantee all of the services that we write about in our blogs. Any attempt to perform anything written in a blog can result in serious injury or fatality without expert guidance and oversight.

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