Dentists are now being asked to provide dental public health interventions as in some areas, promotion events run throughout the year. For that reason, implementing continuous online training for the entire team is really important. Everyone benefits from the training as they learn how to help the community and in return, the public receives the best possible service.
There are many different team members working within a dental practice and all are required to further their education. These include everyone from receptionists,
dental nurses, dental therapists,and hygienists to the dentists themselves.
VirtualOutcomes can help provide dental public health training and education for the entire team.
Online Training For Dental Care Professionals
The healthcare industry consists of many sectors integral to prevention, diagnosis and treatments of various illnesses or conditions. VirtualOutcomes offer online training courses not only for dental care professionals but also GP surgery teams, community pharmacies and other healthcare settings.
All courses come with useful links to high quality reference materials. This supports the team allowing them to access, download and print materials as they need them. It also includes ordering leaflets, posters and materials to provide the necessary information to the public.
Also included are examples of how to create eye catching health promotion displays. It gives the team ideas on how to put together a compelling display, how to engage patients in potentially difficult conversations as well as being clear about how to signpost people if they need additional support.
Dental Health Resources
The National Institute For Health And Excellence (NICE) provide dental teams with valuable information on oral health guidance. There are many published documents, case studies, resources and recommendations outlining the importance of dental public health. It is an infinite source of information to help dental care professionals develop better patient relationships and advise on their dental care.
Dentists should encourage their team to develop a good relationship with their patients so they can also provide good healthy living advice as well as dental care tips. All staff members should understand the importance of creating a welcoming environment for everyone. This especially includes families with babies or young children and children and adults with any form of impairment.
Anyone involved within dental health should keep up to date on all the latest training
courses and industry updates. The individuals that should take part in continuous education and training are:
- Dental care professionals (includes dental hygienists, dental nurses, dental therapists, dental technicians and orthodontic therapists)
- Owners and managers of a dental practice
- Dental practice admin staff including receptionists
- Directors of public health, dental public health consultants and local dental service planners
- People responsible for educating dental professionals
- Members of the public
How To Start Conversations In Your Dental Practice
People using any type service have the right to be involved in discussions. They should also be able to make informed decisions about their dental care. Dentists and other dental care professionals should provide clear and accurate oral health advice.
For example, all patients should receive advice during dental examinations based on the latest oral health updates. This includes advice on oral hygiene practices and the importance of flossing as well as advice about diet, smoking, and alcohol intake.
It is important to ask and keep record of whether a patient smokes. If it is necessary, offer brief advice about smoking and refer them to the local stop smoking service. Whatever advice you provide, be sure that it is tailored to meet each individual’s needs.
Make It Personal
Always listen to a patient’s needs and offer tailored advice, without judgement if their oral health is poor. Encourage them to make a few changes and add a personal touch by creating an individually tailored dental care plan with helpful tips to prevent and treat oral health problems. The only way to successfully develop the preventive part of the plan is to ask the patient about the following:
- personal circumstances and their oral health history, currently and from before
- daily oral hygiene practices and how often they use fluoride
- behaviours or lifestyle choices that may affect their oral health in the short or long-term. This refers to diet, smoking, or alcohol
- existing health conditions, disabilities or other difficulties that might prevent them from maintaining or improving their oral health
Oral Health Promotion: National Smile Month
National Smile Month occurs annually between 13 May and 13 June aiming at dental care professionals, schools, pharmacies, community groups, colleges and workplaces to educate, motivate and communicate good oral healthcare.
Not only is dental health a focus of National Smile Month but so is obesity as many children leaving primary school are overweight or obese. It is the unfortunate truth that obese children generally remain overweight as adults which increases their risk of preventable health conditions. This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.
In terms of oral health in children, sugar reduction plays a big role where the online resources feature three core talking points:
- Always be smart about sugar consumption with healthier food and drink choices by replacing sugar with healthier alternatives
- Regular dentist visits are as important as ever and many people may not know but trips to NHS dentists are free for pregnant women and anyone under the age of 18, or 19 if they are full-time students
- Brushing teeth twice a day with additional tips on how to properly brush teeth. It also explains the recommended amounts of toothpaste to use and the positive effects of fluoride
Training With VirtualOutcomes
VirtualOutcomes offer courses on oral health along with smoking, drug abuse, alcohol intake, exercising, GDPR and Flu among others. We also have a course on mental health as this remains a key area for the NHS, especially when looking to stop mental health being a taboo subject. Dental teams can access all of these courses to ensure that anyone interacting with patients can offer the necessary help and support.
Some of the upcoming courses include:
- Safeguarding Children and Adults
- Anti-microbial resistance (correct usage of antibiotics)
- Pain Management
- Breast Cancer Awareness month
- Prostate Cancer (Movember)
- Alcholol Intake
The courses are short and easily accessible with an opportunity for team members to receive a certificate upon completion. For more information about our training courses and how you can register, please visit our dental practice page. Alternatively, contact us if you have any questions and one of our dedicated team members will get in touch.