Dental Practitioner at Glodwick Dental Centre and Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Dental Network
I believe it is important to understand the needs of all our patients. As healthcare professionals, we aim to offer the same support and treatment for all patients, no matter their ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. However, we quite often haven’t received the appropriate training to truly understand the experiences of LGBT patients. Working alongside LGBT Foundation, Dental teams will be able to gain a better understanding of the support LGBT patients may need.
I was always aware that LGBT patients might not access dental services as often as other patients might, however I was surprised at some the reasons for not accessing dental services.
It is essential for Dental teams to continue to access the training and support provided by LGBT Foundation, to ensure they understand the specific oral health concerns patients may have. Dental teams need to ensure they place posters and leaflets around their practices to make it easier for LGBT patients to know there is support available for them.
Our Dental team feels pleased to have been accredited Gold standard by Pride in Practice; it shows that we were active in bringing some changes to our practice processes, to support LGBT patients, without making them feel like they were being seen as different to other patients. The minor alterations to our medical history forms offers a discrete opportunity for LGBT patients to share their information.
I believe it’s important that Dental teams ensure they keep up to date with training and support. Trying to be flexible in making small changes or tweaks to their practice processes can make the treatment journey for their patients as smooth and understanding as possible.