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23rd May 2016

What makes a good dentist for somebody with a learning disability?

When I moved house I registered with a new dentist. I asked if they treated people with learning disabilities. The receptionist told me that they did so I made an appointment.

Before the dentist started looking at my teeth, I asked her if she knew what it meant when I raised my hand. She said she didn’t. I explained that this is a signal I used with my old dentist. If I needed her to stop what she was doing and let me take a break, I would put my hand up. Although she agreed, she ignored me when I raised my hand and carried on working. I started finding going to the dentist very stressful.

I would give this dentist 3 out of ten.

In the end, I stopped going and went back to my old dentist, even though it is much further away from where I live. This dentist is really good.

The reception staff are very friendly. When I get any paperwork, they explain what it says to me.

The dentist goes slowly and explains what he is going to do before he does it. When I had to have a brace, I needed to put horrible plasticine stuff in my mouth. The dentist explained to me what it was going to taste like so I was prepared.

As I said earlier, we have a signal for “please stop.” When I put up my hand he stops what he is doing and we have a little break. The appointment is never rushed, we do it at a pace I am comfortable with.

The dentist is very good at communicating with me and giving me advice about how to look after my teeth. He took the time to watch how I brushed my teeth and tell me what I was doing wrong. He gave me a timer so I would brush my teeth for the right amount of time. Before, I didn’t brush them for long enough.

I would give this dentist 10 out of 10!

Paul Scarrott of My Life My Choice - QCS Expert Learning Disability Contributor

One thought on “What makes a good dentist for somebody with a learning disability?”

  1. Paul Griffiths says:

    Great blog post – telling it as it is and as it should be.

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