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Dental Tribune United Kingdom Edition

March 26-April 1, 201216 United Kingdom EditionPractice Management BOC LIFELINE® emergency equipment. Saving minutes, saves lives. Anapen® adrenaline (epinephrine)* £28 + VAT each 3 Available in 150mcg, 300mcg and 500mcg 3 Intuitive to use 3 Virtually painless LIFELINE oxygen kit 3 Lightweight oxygen cylinder 3 Built in regulator 3 Next working day refills† 3 Variety of oxygen masks 3 Single annual service charge Only £195 + VAT per annum Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) 3 Intuitive voice prompts 3 Easy to use 3 Seven year warranty Prices from £945 + VAT (AED only) BOC Healthcare BOC Healthcare, Customer Service Centre, Priestley Road, Worsley, Manchester M28 2UT, *Full prescribing information is available from: Lincoln Medical Ltd, Unit 8 Wilton Business Centre Wilton, Salisbury SP2 0AH, United Kingdom: POM date of Preparation – November 2009, Code: ANA/09-008. Adverse effects should be reported. Reporting forms can be found at Adverse events should also be reported to Lincoln Medical on +44 (00) 1722 742 900 or (0) 1748 828 785. † Depending on geographic location. Prices quoted are for a limited time only and are subject to change. The stripe symbol and the letters BOC are registered trade marks of The BOC Group Limited. Both BOC Limited and The BOC Group Limited are members of The Linde Group, the parent company of which is Linde AG. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. © BOC Limited 2011 For further information or to place an order, call 0161 930 6010 quote reference RF278 O n my desk, as well as my computer, I have the OED, my G3 iPad 2 and a LaCie 1TB, silver USB 3.0 hard drive (jargonistic information). I’m sitting at my computer wearing only fluffy slippers and an old jumper (inappropriate in- formation). This morning I was told a neighbour had been seen walk- ing hand-in-hand with a man who is not her husband (gossipy information). It may be ironic that I mostly talk about what front of house (FoH) team members and other practice staff should say to patients, but here I’m dis- cussing what not to say, what not to say directly to patients, also what not to say in case patients may overhear! Like it or not, dentistry con- tinues to evoke emotions rang- ing from mild concern to out- right fear in many people. The British Dental Association says a quarter of the British population suffer from some sort of anxi- ety before visiting a dentist. Fear of the dentists even has its own name – odontophobia (or dento- phobia). FoH staff may inadvertently add to a patient’s anxiety by us- ing words and terms common in dentistry but threatening to patients; for example: ‘surgery’: A better alternative is ‘treatment room’, ‘clinical area’ or ‘consul- tation room’. Here are some more exam- ples: Drill – in the context of buy- ing a power drill from B&Q, the word is fine, in a dental prac- tice it can conjure up all sorts of unpleasant images in some peo- ple. ‘Handpiece’, is a good alter- native. Injection and needle are ‘nas- ty words’ – try some version of ‘‘give you an anaesthetic’’. Waiting room – although an accurate description, the word ‘waiting’ may have connota- tions for some people. There are several alternatives, such as ‘patients’ room’, ‘seating area’ and ‘patients’ lounge’. It can be tricky not to say: “Would you like to wait in...?” but try say- ing something similar to “Please take a seat in...”. Bleaching is a good one, es- pecially if you define it as using hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth! Who’d want that done? Fortunately, ‘teeth whitening’ is an increasingly common phrase and to avoid the word peroxide you could say a ‘whitening gel’. Turning now to jargon (or rather ‘the specialised language of a professional, occupational, or other group’) is often mean- ingless to outsiders as well. Dentistry is full of it – looking at a few online dental dictionar- ies most of them contain at least 150 words. Fortunately, many of them are likely to be confined to the surgery, oops, I mean treat- ment room, and it is the respon- sibility of the clinical staff to ex- plain them. The difficulty often comes for FoH team members when they are describing the practice to a potential new patient or when making follow-up appointments for complex treatment. In the former case, they may need to say the practice has an endodontist/orthodontist/perio- dontist, but when I’ve tried these words on my non-dental friends Jacqui Goss considers unlikely things to hear in a dental practice Why improving your practice is a mystery