How can design thinking be used to enhance the preschool dental experience?
Incredibly flat gradients, engineered viaducts, tremendous tunnels amalgamated with advancements from the industrial revolution were all combined together by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for one reason- to float. Indeed, Brunel was not a typical engineer. He cared about the experience his customers had when they traveled on his railways and steamships and had a vision of creating an experience of floating across the countryside (Brown, 2008). He combined existing technologies with a human focus and created an integrated travel system to enhance the railway experience (Kowalik, 2012). This, as well as an example of the industrial revolution, is quite possibly an early example of design thinking.
For years the oral health care industry in New Zealand has remained stagnant and disconnected from other health disciplines. The Ministry of Health (2006) recognizes that a significant re-orientation in the delivery of publicly funded oral health services is required. As is a change in the way we understand oral health, and in the assumptions that underlie the delivery of oral health services (Ministry of Health, 2006). One might say we are in the midst of an oral health care revolution.
This literature review aims to create a unique understanding of oral health care for preschoolers and how design, specifically design thinking, can be used as an integrative part of the process to enhance their dental experience.
It is important to understand what oral health means. The World Health Organization defines oral health as:
“A natural, functional, acceptable dentition which enables an individual to eat, speak, and socialise without discomfort, pain or embarrassment, for a lifetime, and which contributes to general well being” (World Health Organisation 2004).
This definition calls attention not only to the physical importance of oral heath, but the social and psychological significance as well....