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Patient-centred care: barriers and opportunities in the dental surgery




This paper explores the practice of patient-centred care (PCC) within dentistry. The aim of this research was to explore the barriers and opportunities dentists face in practicing PCC.


The results of N = 20 thematically analysed, in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews with a range of dentists working across clinical and teaching positions within a large UK dental school are presented.


PCC was generally considered a positive, to be embraced concept which dentists believe they practice daily in the absence of any formal training. PCC presented dentists with opportunities to deliver treatment to highly compliant patients. The main barriers revolved around patients (e.g. disengaged or overly inquisitive) and practice factors (e.g. time and funding).


PCC is a concept that is generally seen as important in the dental surgery, presenting dentists with opportunities for compliance-enhanced practice. Significant work is needed if dentists are going to be supported in overcoming self-identified barriers to their delivery of PCC as per UK General Dental Council guidelines.