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Video Presentation: How important is patient satisfation? Study Findings

This is the summary of the findings of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network’s study of satisfaction of patients who received a restorative treatment.

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Patient satisfaction is important due to its:

  • Impact on the likelihood of a patient choosing a dentist, making, and keeping appointments.
  • Impact on the patients’ oral healthcare and on maintaining regular dental care.

Study Purpose

  • Determine patient satisfaction with components of a restoration visit.
  • Identify factors associated with greater patient satisfaction.
  • Examine whether dentists are aware of their patient’s satisfaction.

Study Findings

  • The highest levels of satisfaction were seen for the friendliness of the dentist and how well the dentist limited the patient’s pain.
  • Even for the questions about cost and the time spent in the waiting room, patients were very satisfied.
  • The 2 items with the lowest rating of satisfaction related to communication between patients and dentist having a choice between restorative materials and enough information about the procedure.
  • Patients were more satisfied when restorations were repaired rather than replaced and when the treating dentist was the one who placed the original restoration.
  • Patients were also more satisfied with older dentists: greater proficiency in patient management, communication, and greater technical skills and speed from years of clinical experience.
  • Lower rating of patient satisfaction were found when the restoration material was amalgam and the tooth was a molar.


  • Patients were generally very satisfied; however, dentists often were unaware.
  • Lowest ratings of satisfaction were related to communication.
  • Improved communication is needed so dentists better understand patients’ desires, expectations, and perceptions.  


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