A blend of both social and analytical skills is required for a successful dental team. For example some dental professionals may feel shy around patients but excel in clinical tasks or organisation. Others may have a warm chair-side manner and are able to put patients at ease instantly, but may struggle with elements such as keeping records or ordering supplies. There are many elements that go into team chemistry and performance, which frequently fluctuate and coexist at varying levels.
The diversity of patients that visit the practice is also an eclectic mix of personalities that may act very differently at the dental surgery. Some enjoy meeting people, having a chat and telling the dental team about many facets of their lives. Others prefer to remain quiet and simply want to get in and out. Some patients are able to cope with all types of treatments without worry while others can become very anxious. Indeed, national surveys reveal that around 36% of patients experience moderate dental anxiety and 12% of adults are classified as having extreme dental anxiety. It is the role of the dental professional to evaluate how patients feel and behave and to conduct their service accordingly.
Of course it is impossible to understand all personalities but it is important to remember that everyone is different. Even the most shy or fearful patients attend dental check ups while battling with a whole host of anxieties. In all cases empathy is needed with a non-judgemental, kind and gentle approach, the dental team need to be able to assess the reactions of their patients and adapt in order to provide the most appropriate care.
Sometimes in order to achieve the best results and to keep the interests of a patient at the forefront, it may be necessary to refer them to a specialist practice. However, the referral practice needs to work well alongside your practice to ensure good communication and successful results. With patient care a priority, when you choose a referral practice you need to feel confident that their team have the ability and skills to treat your patients whilst also fitting in well with the personalities and characteristics of you and your dental team.
London Smile Clinic is a referral practice with a team of specialist dental practitioners that are experienced in liaising successfully with dental professionals on all levels. They understand the variances of personality and provide open communication, trust and confidence to both practitioners and their patients. As a centre of excellence with exceptionally high standards of clinical dentistry, London Smile Clinic can offer a range of specialist orthodontics, implants and periodontal treatments and can consistently extend a professional and considerate approach to all patients.
You may not always be able to work with perfect people but recognising their strengths is a valuable step to building a well-rounded team of people that will not only streamline operations but also help you to achieve the most favourable results for your patients.
For more information, please contact the London Smile Clinic on 020 7255 2559 or visit www.londonsmile.co.uk.
 Adult Dental Health Survey 2009. www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/adultdentalhealthsurvey_2009_firstrelease.
pdf [Accessed 25th February 2015]