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Objective: Advanced general dentistry has long been practiced in Thailand; however, crucial keys to accomplishing successful dental treatment are not explicitly discussed. This qualitative study aimed to examine common competencies of advanced general dentists who provide comprehensive healthcare in Thailand.
Material and Methods: We conducted an in-depth interview on twenty dentists who have been practicing general dentistry for more than one year after completing residency training. Six male and fourteen female dentists were selected based on the purposive sampling technique.
Result: We extracted five main themes representing five competencies necessary to perform quality comprehensive dental care. They were denoted as 5E skills (5Es), which are Empathy (being kind, patient, and open-minded), Embrace (understanding the patients through eyes and mind), Empty (being a good listener with an empty mind), Exchange (properly interacting with the patients), and Expertise (in dental skills). The 5Es are consistent with the current trend of patient-centered care.
Conclusion: A crucial key in comprehensive dental care is the ability to see and take care patients as an individual human being. It is the ability to appropriately apply multidisciplinary knowledge to take care patients with different backgrounds that advanced general dentists should have. Following the increasing trend of patient-centred healthcare, new general dentists can apply the 5E skills as a guideline to practice comprehensive dental care.
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