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In good health: Spain’s dental profession shows excellent growth 

PAGE 33 SPAINS DENTAL

In December, the Dental Doctors’ training institution published the study “Odontology in Spain according to its professionals”.

In it, dentists make an analysis of the market and become critics of their own sector, who are often spokespersons for the sharpest judgments. How-ever, in this case, the assessment has been quite positive, which underlines an important aspect: the growth and progress of Spanish centres and professionals.

One of the aspects highlighted, for example, is the data offered about the clinics. According to the interviewees, there is an average of five consultation rooms, although half claim to have less than three; and five dentists per centre. However, 50 per cent say they do not deal with more than 20 people a day despite being able to do so.

This data reveals not only the good state of attention, but also the facilities, which have improved exponentially in recent decades.

Nieves Hernández García, responsible for the reception and administration of the Artedental clinic, in Puerto de la Cruz, confirms that in this centre they treat an average of between ten and twelve patients per clinician thanks to the fact that they have the appropriate structure for this (five cabinets with cutting-edge technology) since they have four specialists among their staff, in addition to auxiliaries.

“Addressing more people would influence treatment and attention,” Nieves explains.

The growth in terms of new patients is also positive. More than half say they have received more patients than the previous year, as well as having experienced an increase in personnel to cover such growth.

“In Artedental we receive an average of 50 new visits per month, after acceptance of the budget. In our case, we had to increase the staff to cover the growing demand, “explains Nieves.

However, the survey shows that, although in 2017, 51 per cent of the clinics saw more patients than in 2016, only 17 per cent have hired new staff. And patients notice it.

The dentist is a sector in which word of mouth is still the main means to decide which clinic to go to., in fact, up to 63.8 per cent of cases, according to the study of the teaching organisation.

“In something as important as medical specialties, the patient seeks the trust of close people and helps us a lot,” the organisation reveals.

However, there are still important pending tasks. According to the information of the professionals, 65 per cent of patients did not attend a consultation last year. According to them,this was for an economic issue. Asking the same question to patients instead of professionals, the Eurobarometer on Dental Health argues that they do not come for an appointment because they do not see it as necessary. It is therefore in the task of prevention where it would be failing, because an annual visit to the dentist would save many conditions resulting from the lack of care and hygiene.

The most sought-after specialties that continue to keep the sector on the rise are implantology and ortho-dontics, according to the study, as well as dental aesthetics. However, almost 80 per cent of the clinics in Spain are dedicated to general dentistry.

In Artedental they are specialists in dental implants, with an experience that exceeds the decade in the application of this innovative technique, a success rate of 90 per cent and a medical director and regular surgeon in international conferences and conferences where he exposes his casuistry, Víctor Cubillo .

More and more Spanish professionals are required by international universities for teaching, which reveals the quality of some dentists in Spain.

However, we must always differentiate clinics with a long career and top-level professionals from the so-called “low cost” clinics, where treatments are offered at supposedly ridiculous prices and care is of lower quality.