Evaluating Trust in the Patient-Dentist Relationship: A Mixed-Method Study

Published 05/02/2022

A new study from CareQuest Institute and the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, the first to use the Dental Trust Scale (DTS) in the United States, found that dental trust was significantly higher in patients who have a regular dentist and said they have excellent general health. Researchers administered the questionnaire to 150 white, Black, and Hispanic study participants and interviewed 7 dentists to understand both dentist and patient perspectives on trust in the patient-provider relationship. Additional findings include: 

  • Communication is key to building trust between dentists and patients. 
  • Prioritizing the “best interest of the patient,” listening to patient concerns, and understanding patients’ beliefs and cultures are critical to open communication and building trust between dentists and patients. 
  • COVID-19 posed unique challenges for dentists to build and sustain relationships with patients. 

While this study was focused on the Denver Metro area and is not generalizable to the US population, it offers insights for dentists to build trust with patients. 

Read the article in JDR Clinical & Translational Research 

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