The GDPUK.com Blog

All that's new in the world of dentistry
MAR
14

The X-ray Experience for Patients with Dementia - Pete Higson

The X-ray Experience for Patients with Dementia  - Pete Higson

As the prevalence of dementia in the UK increases, and researchers struggle to find concrete evidence for the possible causes of the disease, controversial studies have emerged hypothesising that dental X-rays could be the source of the infamous disorder. With no evidence to support this claim, however, and no indication that research can actually be conducted to prove such a theory, it would, perhaps, be more pertinent for professionals to reverse their concerns and focus instead on the effects diagnostic imaging can have on people currently living with dementia.

Presently, there is next to no research on how the experience of undergoing an X-ray can affect dementia patients both emotionally and psychologically, apart from one study funded by the Clinical Research Fellowship titled “Exploring the experiences of diagnostic imaging for people with dementia”, which has not yet published its findings.[i] The project hopes to improve understanding through interviews with patients and their carers as well as develop recommendations for practice change.

As it stands, there are advice pathways in place to steer professionals in the right direction – including Nice guidelines (CG42)[ii] and recommendations from the Society of Radiographers –[iii] with some consideration placed on support and intervention methods. However, it is also important to examine ways in which distress, confusion and discomfort can be minimised within the dental practice.  

To do so, it is necessary to consider how the patient might feel before, during and after the process. Before the X-ray is taken, for instance, the patient is required to remove all jewellery, dentures, eyewear and any other metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the images, which can be an ordeal in itself for someone living with dementia. Indeed, depending on the level of their understanding, they might not be able to comprehend why you are removing their wedding ring, or why they aren’t allowed to have their glasses, without which, they cannot see.

That’s not to mention the confusion the patient might feel when the machine is positioned close to the body. Plus, if the equipment is big, bulky or intimidating in appearance, there is a possibility that the experience could induce anxiety or fear.

Emotional and psychological distress could occur during the process too, especially if the patient is unable to keep still and the images need to be retaken. Not only could this induce further feelings of anxiety in a situation that is already stressful for the patient, but it also puts the patient at risk of increased radiation exposure.

It is important to take into consideration the waiting time that is required after the examination is complete to check if all the necessary images have been obtained. If the equipment does not enable the user to view the images immediately, there is a chance that the patient could become impatient or agitated, which could lead to challenging behaviour. 

To minimise such risks and create an experience that is as positive and comfortable as possible, there are several measures that could be implemented within the dental practice. One potential strategy could be to alter protocol and develop a specialist system specifically for patients with dementia – a service that is already being developed within innovative hospitals and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The Mid Essex CCG, for instance, funds a service affiliated with the national charity Carers Trust, which has developed a pathway that enables patients with dementia who require an X-ray to have direct access to radiology services.[iv] If practices were to implement a similar protocol and allow patients to bypass the waiting room, it could help the patient to feel more relaxed and minimise the likelihood of agitation and distress from occurring.

A clinician’s understanding and attitude towards the disease could also affect patients’ overall X-ray experience. Indeed, one study found that the approach of participating radiographers towards people with dementia was largely of a negative nature, especially from staff with fewer than 10 years’ work experience.[v] With better training, and an increased awareness of the affects of dementia, clinicians could help minimise agitation and behavioural symptoms during the X-ray process.[vi]

Lastly, the machine itself can have a huge impact on the outcome of the appointment and the patient’s experience. By using an X-ray unit such as the RXDC Hypersphere+ from RPA Dental, that provides a larger source-to-skin distance, generates consistently sharp images and reduces the irradiated surface area – and therefore exposure – practices could improve negative elements of the experience.

While it is clear that evidence is needed to discover more on how an X-ray could affect patients with dementia both emotionally and psychologically, there are practical solutions that practices can implement that could help make a difference. Nobody can know for sure what the cause of dementia is, nor can they reverse its effects, but it’s not too late to change the way patients live with it.

 

For more information, contact RPA Dental on 08000 933 975 or visit the website www.dental-equipment.co.uk

 

 



[i] Alzheimer’s Society: Research. Exploring the experiences of diagnostic imaging for people with dementia. Accessed online May 2016 at https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=2510

[ii] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Nice Guidelines. Dementia: supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care. Accessed online May 2016 at https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg42/chapter/1-guidance

[iii] Society of Radiographers. Caring for People with Dementia: a clinical practice guideline for the radiography workforce (imaging and radiography). Published 2015. Accessed online May 2016 at file:///Users/officeone/Downloads/society_of_radiographers_-_-_.pdf

[iv] Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust. Dementia Action Alliance 2013 Update. Accessed online May 2016 at http://www.meht.nhs.uk/EasySiteWeb/GatewayLink.aspx?alId=4146

[v] Kada S. Radiographers’ attitudes towards persons with dementia. European Journal of Radiography. 2009; 1 (4): 163-168. Accessed online May 2016 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756117510000236

[vi] Magai C, Cohen CI, Gomberg D. Impact of Training Dementia Caregivers in Sensitivity to Nonverbal Emotional Signals. International Psychogeriatrics. 2002; 14 (1): 25-38. Accessed online May 2016 at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=273702&fileId=S1041610202008256

 

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JAN
04
0

Get The Right Refurbishment

Get The Right Refurbishment

 

 

 

Are you thinking about refurbishing your practice? Then look no further than RPA Dental Equipment Ltd. With its extensive knowledge and experience within the dental industry, the team can help tailor your practice design to meet your specific and unique needs.

They will work closely with you to establish a suitable layout, fully utilising the space you have to ensure that you have an efficient, ergonomic and stylish work environment.

RPA Dental also provides quality Tavom cabinets to fit into your tailor-designed practice, all of which are compliant with CQC and HTM 01-05 standards and regulations.

To ensure you are happy with the refurbishment every step of the way, RPA Dental uses the latest CAD/CAM technology to provide computer-generated images of your future practice. This will give you an idea of how it will look, giving you the freedom to modify or change your plans if you wish.

If you would like to find out more about the cabinet ranges available and how RPA Dental could help you with your dental practice design, contact the team today.

 

 

To see how RPA Dental can transform your dental practice, please call

08000 933 975 or visit the website www.dental-equipment.co.uk

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MAR
11
0

Stand Proud In Pastelli

Stand Proud In Pastelli

 

Dedicated to bringing you the best, RPA Dental recently launched a new uniform range from leading medical clothing designer, Pastelli.

Pastelli uniforms are handmade in Italy from the highest quality of Egyptian cotton assuring you comfort and safety at work.

The collection – which boasts over 150 models in 32 different colours – is available in a variety of sizes and has been specially designed to inspire confidence and endure the day-to-day life of a dental professional.

Pastelli uniforms are also seven times stronger than a pair of jeans, thus offering you the highest quality and a guarantee on your product!

As Pastelli uniforms have been designed with professionalism in mind, RPA Dental is offering you the opportunity to take your practice’s appearance to the next level.

Essentially, a uniform can be as influential as your choice of equipment and the design of your practice; it has the potential to improve your status and reputation.

Make a lasting impression on your patients with Pastelli – contact RPA Dental for more information.

 

To see how RPA Dental can transform your dental practice, please call   

08000 933 975 or visit the website www.dental-equipment.co.uk

  3097 Hits
3097 Hits
MAR
11
0

Take the stress out of designing your new practice

Take the stress out of designing your new practice

 

 

Renowned supplier of dental cabinetry, RPA Dental offers a dental practice design service tailored to helping you to achieve an efficient and stylish dental environment.

With years’ of experience specifically within the dental industry, RPA Dental has all the skills and expertise to ensure your practice not only looks great to your patients, but that it also functions with maximum efficiency. Regardless of the size or shape of space available, the team will be sure to put it to maximum use.

With an extensive selection of Tavom cabinet ranges, colours and surfaces, you can also be sure to create a practice unique to you, while also promoting your professional values and high quality patient service.

Combine the sophistication of Italian design with the expert support services of UK-based engineers, and take the stress out of creating your next practice with RPA Dental.

 

 

To see how RPA Dental can transform your dental practice, please call

08000 933 975 or visit the website www.dental-equipment.co.uk

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2622 Hits

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