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Table 4 Patients’ experience of dental care in practices with a structured approach to prevention

From: Experiences of dental care: what do patients value?

Achieving lifestyle change and experiencing reinforcing outcomes
Historical outcomes: refers to how patients’ dental history changed overtime after being exposed to intensive preventive care. Having a way to address my dental history “Before, I used to go to the dentist if I was in pain or had a broken tooth. Now, I understand that it is not good for me coming to the dentist if my teeth are all falling out – it is a bit late then, right?"
  Having strong teeth (despite having a family history of poor teeth) “I feel more confident now, and my teeth just sort of feel a bit stronger.”
Biological outcomes: refers to patients’ experience of not having dental caries’ clinical signs and symptoms. Prevention being better than the ‘old drill and fill’ "It [prevention] is better than going back and having three, or four, or five filling type situations and then going from there.”
  Having a better outlook “Well, to floss, to use the mouthwash, which – yeah, that is good – I like that because it makes you feel cleaner. If you feel clean and comfortable you operate better – your whole outlook is better.”
Financial outcomes: refers to the cost of preventive care and the absence of a financial burden in the long term. Knowing that it is an ongoing investment “I realized that taking care of my teeth is an ongoing thing, but I am prepared to pay for it, if it means keeping my teeth.”
  Being better off in the long term “I am hoping it [prevention] will help me in the longer term with my teeth . Then, I will not need to keep paying for broken teeth to be fixed.”
Psychosocial outcomes: refers to the psychological and social aspects of patients’ improved oral health Feeling in control “I guess emotionally you feel you have addressed that and I am in control now; and I manage it with my regular appointments, the brushing and the flossing.”
  Feeling satisfied “I feel like I have really achieved something, and that is continuing because I am still maintaining and looking after my teeth.”
Habitual outcomes: refers to customary activities related to and/or consequences of preventive care. Changing visits to dentist “Rather than just making an appointment when I got a sore tooth, I was preventing that happening by keeping my regular appointments and having fluoride.”
  Being part of life “I have found that flossing has made quite a big difference, and so I just do that all the time now. It was difficult to start with, but then it was fine; and now it is sort of just a part of life”