Communication In Dentist Communication Skills

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Introduction
Effective communication is an essential element of the relationship between dentist and patient in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of dental treatment. The aim of this weekly clinical shadowing of different dentists in various health centres was to enhance and develop an understanding of therapeutic communication skills in Brunei. In this report, I will be mainly focusing on the verbal and non-verbal communications, social cognition issues and ways to further improve the communication skills among dentists in Brunei based on notes obtained from the three reported patient sessions. This is because there has been less research on these topics with respect to dental care.

Verbal Communications
Listening is the
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Most people think that non-verbal communication refers to facial expressions, i.e. expression of ideas and feelings through the face (happy, sad, angry, fear, etc.). Some people identify non-verbal communication with sign language, i.e. language used by deaf people. An understanding of the patient's non-verbal communication includes not only the context of the interview, but also, the level and position of the patient, proximity, how close the dentist is to the patient, i.e. invasion of personal space, the patient's posture, i.e. how they are lying in the dental chair, eye contact between the dentist and patient as well as facial expressions. In most of my shadowing sessions, when the dentist meets his/her patient, the former usually greets the patient looking at him/her on entry to the dental room. The dentist would usually watch the patient along his/her way to the dental chair without having the need to say anything. There were also occasions where the dentist did not look at the patient at all since he/she was either busy finishing up on the clinical notes for the previous patient or busy roaming through the attendance book when the patient enters the room. Both the duration of a single glance and the frequency of looks dedicated to the patient are crucial in maintaining communication through eye contact. The patient will have an impression that the dentist is neglecting what he/she feels during the dental procedure if the dentist only focuses on the inside of the mouth, equipments, dental assistant's work and avoids looking at the patient's face. A good dentist should be able to notice the current mental state of the patient just by looking at the patient’s facial expression, for example if the patient avoids eye contact as he/she feels uncertain, anxious for dentist's prescribed treatment, frequently blinks due to fear or immediately closes his/her eyes due to pain. Eye contact is vital in

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