It could be hardly doubted that the role of the professional dentist has changed and evolved over the course of time. Dental science has progressed immensely over the past few centuries, and it is evident that these changes vastly shape the functions, performed by the dentist. It is possible to notice that the contemporary professional should not only physically cure the dental problems, but he or she should also be a good listener and psychologist, who is aware of means to motivate patients. It has a significant impact on the profession because the dentist is responsible not only for the physical condition of his or her patient’s teeth but also for their motivation to change their lifestyle and habits positively. Two videos under consideration represent the differences between the qualified, motivational approach and the one which is not helpful for the patient. This paper aims to discuss both positive and negative traits of the dentist, which are presented in two fictional interviews, and also to provide the examples of engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning (EFEP) approach.
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First of all, it is essential to distinguish between positive and negative features of motivational interviews. Both videos under consideration describe the same situation: Emily, a young girl, meets her dentist, and they discuss the oral piercing which Emily has recently done. The first video is an example of how one should not do the motivational interview in the dental practice. Several adverse aspects of the dentist’s approach stood out in this instance. Firstly, the woman, who is playing the doctor, starts the conversation with disapprobation asking questions and making statements, such as “what do we have here?”, “why did you do the piercing?”, and “you don’t need this.” Secondly, even though the dentist touches upon the adverse effects which can be caused by the piercing, she does it in the same reproving manner, just stating the facts without any evaluation. In general, it possible to observe that she does not listen enough to Emily, and, what is more important, she does not propose any plan or motivation for the girl to change the situation.
On the contrary, the second video is an example of the professional approach to motivation. One could easily trace each of four primary stages of the EFEP approach. First of all, the dentist engages Emily into the discussion of the problem without judgemental observations. Secondly, she focuses her attention on the possible consequences of wearing lip piercing by asking Emily what does she know about the piercing’s impact. Thirdly, the dentist evokes the girl’s motivation to change by asking her what could be the reason for her to stop wearing her embellishment. On the final stage, Emily and her dentist set out a plan to monitor the influence of the lip piercing on the girl’s teeth to trace the adverse impact which could develop in the course of time. In general, it is possible to notice that the second video provides a pattern of successful and positive approach to motivational interviewing. The principal feature of such interviewing is the dentist’s will to listen to the patient without judgment and to guide him or her to find the motivation for positive changes in the lifestyle.
In conclusion, it is possible to notice that the role of the professional dentist is immense in the current medicine. Based on the examples of the two discussed videos, it is possible to state that the responsible and engaging approach to motivation is a key to building successful patient-dentist relationships. It is important that the process of communication was based on the listening of patient’s point of view, and there should be no judgemental observations.