Due to the high discrimination that LBGT people go through, most are hesitant to access health services. As a dental blogger, offering appropriate cultural treatment is essential to improve access to proper health and care for everyone, including LGBT patients.
Dentists have a unique chance to foster meaningful and impactful relationships with their patients. They are at a better chance of earning the confidence and trust of their patients, making them feel loved, accepted, and catered for like everyone one.
What Can Dentists Do to Support LGBT Patients?
To be a better place to offer emotional and health support to patients, dentists need to read to develop their cultural knowledge continually. As a dentist, understanding cultural diversity is one way to understand the LGBT community better and offer effective healthcare.
With the current changes in the world, diversity is no longer confined to ethnicity and race. Now, diversity includes gender identity and sexual orientation.
LGBT health has often become an under-looked factor in professional health education. As much as cultural competency is an integral part of the dentistry curriculum, there is a lack of gender and sexual orientation.
Dentists need to have skills that are necessary for helping them assess their intercultural communication. That way, they will be better positioned to offer quality healthcare services to everyone, even the LGBT community.
Seeking continuous education on professional development and education on LGBT concepts, accepted terminology, and understanding health disparities will help provide adequate patient care.
LGBT Community Need for Oral Health Care
Vulnerable populations in terms of oral health include the LGBT community. Other than active engagement in oral sex, they are shy to seek medical help, and most have limited access to professional health care.
To include the LGBT community in accessing healthcare, the US has included them in the Healthy People 2020 objectives. These objectives are formulated every decade to enhance the health, well-being, and safety of the public. Due to discrimination and marginalization, the LGBT community faces more health threats than other groups.
Barriers to LGBT Community Accessing Healthcare
It is no secret there has been a long history where the community has been marginalized. Also, the population shows a lack of awareness, especially regarding the health and well-being needs of the community.
Sadly, the LGBT community has suffered from social stigmatization, marginalization, denial of basic and civil rights, and discrimination. Thus, they are shared to seek any patient care, including essential oral services such as teeth whitening.
Why You Should Not Shy Away From Telling Your Dentist that You are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender
Most patients tend to keep their sexual orientation secret which is okay. However, telling your dentist your sexual orientation may help you get better care. Usually, the LGBT community tends to have health concerns that non-LGBT people don’t. Therefore, being open about it will be more beneficial.
Dentists are health professionals who understand sexual diversity. There is absolutely no risk of judgment. As a healthcare provider, dentists are there to help restore your oral health through teeth whitening or any gum or mouth concerns you may have.