Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-96  

Patient dentist relationship (the decisive factor for optimal results)

Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, D.A.V Dental College and Hospital, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India

Date of Web Publication2-Mar-2020

Correspondence Address:
Nymphea Pandit
Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, D.A.V Dental College and Hospital, Yamuna Nagar,Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisp.jisp_51_20

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How to cite this article:
Pandit N. Patient dentist relationship (the decisive factor for optimal results). J Indian Soc Periodontol 2020;24:95-6

How to cite this URL:
Pandit N. Patient dentist relationship (the decisive factor for optimal results). J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Aug 19];24:95-6. Available from:

During our training periods as a graduate and post graduate student, we are taught various medical terms which are deemed necessary for understanding our concepts about the basics of the medical and dental field. This language becomes a part of our vocabulary. During our clinical postings and patient dealings we seem to forget that our patients are not used to these terms as they have undergone no such training. This is the first step towards broadening the gap between the patient and the Dental surgeon in establishing and installing faith. In 2007, a study by revealed that 50% of patients do not understand the diagnosis made by their doctor.[1] An added factor is the already prevalent negative image of a dentist in the general population as dentist has always been dreaded as someone who works with drills and induces pain. Although the equipment used has modernised over a period of time to make dentistry more comfortable, there has never been an effort to convey the same to the public. We are trying our best to make a 6-monthly dental check-up mandatory for everyone but we are all aware of the fact that it is hardly taken seriously.

The problem lies in the knowledge gap between the patient and the dentist. During the times of Hippocrates the doctor (the expert) was considered to be an absolute authority to decide the best suited treatment for the patient. In the second half of the twentienth century this type of relationship shifted to a more balanced approach as the concepts of autonomy, trust and confidentiality began to develop. This model has now shifted to a more humanistic approach in which the patient has a major say in the treatment plan, which is to be implemented. (Carl Rogers concept of psychotherapeutics).[2]

Various clinicians have underlined some guidelines for providing the conducive environment for a better doctor patient relation and favourable outcome of the therapy.

This includes the following approaches:

  1. The first contact with the patient should be an empathetic one. If it begins with shaking hands with the patient, it creates an environment of trust and faith. Along with the chief complaints of the patient the type of experience with the oral disease is also related to his personal and social experience. This creates a bond of harmony and trust between the dentist and the patient and helps in establishing a person to person relationship than a higher authority and the receiving person
  2. Medical problems should be carefully evaluated as the influence of the same on the oral cavity and the vice versa is well established
  3. Before undertaking the intraoral examination, enough time should be taken for the extra oral examination to built the trust with the patient. The examination of the oral structures is considered to be more personal and invasive from the patient's point of view. Sigmund Freud, one of the famous Psychologists has referred to the mouth as the first area which an individual experiences as the self, and it is regarded as an area where we have the early signs of satisfaction and reward.[3] It is, therefore, imperative that the dentist should ask for permission to carry out oral examination as some patients consider it to be an invasion of privacy
  4. When the diagnosis is made and revealed to the patient, give some time to the patient to express his feelings
  5. In accordance with the Carl Rogers concept of psychotherapeutics, the patient should have a major say in the treatment plan. Carefully evaluate the patient's expectations, the most likely outcome of the therapeutic modality undertaken and the sync between the two.

   References Top

Bodenheimer T. A 63-year-old man with multiple cardiovascular risk factors and poor adherence to treatment plans. JAMA 2007;298:2048-55.  Back to cited text no. 1
Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy) – Good Therapy. Theories Developmental Psychology. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Dec 14, Last visit 2020 Jan 26].  Back to cited text no. 2
Freud's Psychosexual Stages of Development by Kendra Cherry. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Dec 15, Last visit 2020 Jan 25].  Back to cited text no. 3


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