UK dentistry finds itself in a very strange position. The academic standard required to gain entry to a dental undergraduate degree course has never been higher. The proportion of dentists achieving postgraduate qualifications has never been higher. Without exception, studies looking into levels of patient satisfaction with the care and treatment they have received have found patients to be well satisfied. And yet complaints against dentists are at an all-time high.
A lot of complaints arise from unmet expectations, so it invites the question of who or what is driving patient expectations into the realms of the unrealistic and unachieveable? And whether or not there is any underlying cause for concern about the standard of care being delivered by UK practitioners. There is little doubt that there are many different factors at work, but I have yet to see a reasoned analysis to explain the current paradox.