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A pilot denture service collaboration between Den-Tech denture charity and Crisis at Christmas Dental Service (CCDS): A Plan-Do-Study-Act analysis

Abstract

Introduction The Crisis at Christmas Dental Service (CCDS) provides dental treatment for homeless and vulnerably housed people each year during the Christmas period. In 2017, Den-Tech piloted a same-day field-laboratory denture service alongside CCDS to provide new dentures, additions and repairs for people experiencing social exclusion who have limited access to dental care.

Objectives To evaluate the service in terms of: (i) treatment need for denture service; (ii) patient-reported feedback; (iii) clinician-reported feedback; and (iv) learning outcomes from the pilot denture service.

Methods Clinicians recorded their dental activity on a standard pro forma and records of the dentures were maintained by the Den-Tech volunteer laboratory technicians. Patient feedback was collected on standardised feedback forms at the dental reception and volunteer feedback was collected via an online survey. The team undertook a quality improvement evaluation using the Plan-Do-Study-Act methodology.

Results During the seven-day treatment period in 2017, 24 dentures were produced by the Den-Tech technicians, and in 2018, 31 dentures were created for people experiencing homelessness. In 2017, feedback was collected from 353 patients who attended the service: 99.4% were satisfied with their treatment and 98.3% would have recommended the service to others. Similarly, high levels of positive feedback were received in 2018. Of the dental volunteers who responded, 97.8% of volunteers felt that the denture service benefitted the patients.

Conclusions The Den-Tech denture service was well-received by patients and volunteers alike. For the first time at Crisis at Christmas, patients were able to have dental extractions and immediate replacement of these teeth without compromising their dignity and overall appearance.

Learning outcomes A quality improvement project utilising real-time volunteer and patient feedback can be a useful tool in reflecting upon the challenges and successes of a service as well as supporting its continual development.

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Correspondence to J. Doughty.

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Doughty, ., Johnson, A., Tatari, A. et al. A pilot denture service collaboration between Den-Tech denture charity and Crisis at Christmas Dental Service (CCDS): A Plan-Do-Study-Act analysis. Br Dent J 228, 183–190 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-1253-z

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