Patients’ perception about professionalism in dental practice: experience in a southwestern tertiary institution.
Objective: When individuals have negative perceptions
about dental care, they refuse to seek treatment which
leads to worsened conditions. The interactions with
patients attending the various dental clinics revealed
some dissatisfaction with the quality of service
delivered. The objective of this study was to assess the
perception of the patients about the dentists and dental
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted for a
period of three months among old and new patients
attending the Oral Diagnosis, Periodontology,
Orthodontic, Oral Surgery, Conservative, Prosthetic
and Paedodontic Clinics at the dental centre, University
College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The data
was collected using an English-language questionnaire
and analysed using the IBM SPSS Software version 23.
Results: There were 228 participants, majority were
females (55.4%) and belonged to the 56 years and above
age group (20%). The patients agreed (40.6%) and
strongly agreed (32.1%) that the first impression they
had of their dentist affected their confidence in him/her.
More than half of the patients (52.7%) reported they
were particular about the physical appearance of their
dentist and 84.3% preferred their dentist to be
professionally dressed. Greater than half of the patients
(64.1%) and almost half (46.2%) claimed that their
overall experience with their dentist and dental nurse
was excellent respectively.
Conclusion: It was observed that the patients were not
particular about the demographics of the dentists or
dental nurses but placed more emphasis on appearance,
behaviour and skills which ultimately influenced their
overall experience and perception.