Factors Influencing Patient Satisfaction and Loyalty as Perceived by Dentists and Their Patients

Dent J (Basel). 2023 Aug 28;11(9):203. doi: 10.3390/dj11090203.


Objective: This study aimed to identify the key aspects of patients' dental care experience that influenced their self-perceived satisfaction and loyalty. Also examined was the agreement between patients and dentists regarding these factors.

Methods: Questionnaires were administered to 1121 patients and 77 dentists, focusing on demographic information and 15 selected items related to the patients' last dental visit. Descriptive and linear regression analyses were conducted.

Results: The study included participants from 41 practices. Factors significantly influencing satisfaction and loyalty included location convenience, treatment quality, trust in dentists' decisions, visit frequency satisfaction, clear treatment explanations, dentist's interest in symptoms, patient-dental personnel attachment, and dentist's knowledge of the patient and their medical records. While overall agreement between patients and dentists was high, some areas exhibited notable disagreement.

Conclusions: The findings mostly align with existing literature, underscoring the importance of communication, trust, and a personal patient-dentist relationship in promoting satisfaction and loyalty. However, they also show that local, generally not reported factors might be at play, which necessitates dentists' awareness and consideration of the local context for optimal outcomes.

Keywords: dental communication; dentist-patient communication; loyalty; patient satisfaction.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.