Dental professionals feel that patients have been understanding of changes during the pandemic

The majority (95%) of dental professionals surveyed stated that patients have been understanding of the changes made during the pandemic, according to new research published by the Dental Defence Union (DDU).

The DDU surveyed 538 dental members about their working circumstances during the pandemic and found that while patients were understanding, this has not alleviated concerns within dentistry. The DDU found that 60% of respondents were concerned about facing a complaint, claim or GDC investigation relating to the pandemic.

Other key findings included 55% believing that remote consultations will remain in place following the end of the pandemic. Additionally, 59% also found it easy to stay up-to-date with the latest guidance issued during the pandemic.  

Leo Briggs, deputy head of the DDU commented,

"Dental professionals are used to dealing with stressful, high pressure situations. Nevertheless, the pandemic has heightened some existing challenges while presenting many new ones.

"Working practices have dramatically changed during the pandemic and it is good that the majority of patients have been understanding. However, it’s clear that dental professionals are concerned about the risk of a future complaint or claim as a result of treatment undertaken or postponed during the pandemic."

The survey was held as part of the DDU’s Ethics in practice webinar which focused on:

  • Dento-legal implications of working during a pandemic.
  • The challenges of keeping up to date with new and changing guidelines.
  • Managing patient expectations and responding to COVID-19 related complaints.
  • Dento-legal considerations when carrying out remote consultations.

Available for a limited time only, dental professionals can watch the webinar on-demand and receive one hour of verifiable CPD to help meet the GDC’s learning objectives A and D.

This page was correct at publication on 06/01/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.