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We have all sat in the Dentist’s chair

To some it is a terrifying experience, rarely undertaken because they have actively gone to great lengths to avoid it. The dentist will most likely have a lot of work to do. It will be invasive, painful, stressful and usually very expensive.

Some go because they are obsessed with dental perfection, precisely symmetrical teeth gleaming an unnaturally radiant white. Their dental work is also very expensive, but it is purely cosmetic.

For others, who regularly see a dentist it will be a more routine event, perhaps just a check-up. It is unlikely to be painful, perhaps a little uncomfortable. Rather than full-on stress it may induce some apprehension, but it will not be free, there will be a cost. These people see dental care as an investment. They don’t want to experience the ultimate consequences of avoiding the dentist and end up having to pay the price of decay, loss, pain and the very high cost remedial work.

One truth that can be drawn from these examples is that no-one (or very few normal people) actually enjoys going to the dentist.

Organisations may want to think about the management of the Health, Safety, Environment and Quality of their operations along the lines of dental care.

The check-up: Audit

It may cause some apprehension and a little discomfort. You can tell the dentist that you always brush twice a day and floss regularly but when he is inside your mouth he will know otherwise. The check-up will identify things possibly going wrong while they can still be fixed without too much pain and cost. Bear in mind your dentist will be looking at your gums as well as your teeth because they are a good indicator of dental health. Make a point of arranging regular check-ups, maybe even start a dental plan to help spread the costs.

Good dental hygiene: A robust and effective HSEQ Management System

Good habits, regular activity, routine behaviours but relatively low effort and a manageable cost. There should be no hidden surprises, no bad news out of the blue and no big bills you were not ready for.

Poor dental hygiene: Accident, incidents, poor quality

Extractions and root canal work. A lot of deep dive work. Painful, expensive, uses a lot of resources and eats up time and effort. One thing you can be absolutely sure of…everyone who eventually has to go through this process says “I wish I had looked after my teeth better!”

Spare a thought for your Dentist…and your HSEQ Auditor/Advisor. They are there to help you. Whatever they find in your mouth – or your organisation – was not their doing!

They can do two things for you: fix the immediate problem…and help you prevent further problems!

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