Interview: Dental technician Oliver Brix talks about his private and professional relationship with Marie Witt, changes in the job description of a dental technician, digitization and the future of dentistry as a whole.
Mr Brix, as a dental technician, you were a lone wolf for a long time. Now you have a partner, with whom you share not only your personal life, but also your professional life. It sounds like you have been very lucky...
Oliver Brix: Absolutely! Marie Witt has been my partner for some time. And she is a dental technician. She now works as an equal partner in my dental laboratory. This is something I’d never dared to dream of before.
To what extent has this partnership changed the way you live and work?
Oliver Brix: Through this partnership, I am able to share my profession with someone I love. We also share duties. This means: I am no longer responsible for everything alone. With Marie at my side, I have someone I can pass my work on to, and Marie finishes it. No matter at what point I stop working on a restoration. We complement each other perfectly. Sometimes I finish her work, sometimes she finishes mine. We both learn from each other and inspire each other. And: This cooperation gives me more freedom to devote myself to other things: to research a little more with materials, to concentrate more on advice, planning, anamnesis and analysis. And to optimize my life-work balance, so that I have time to recuperate and recharge my batteries.
Another topic: In your opinion, how will dentistry and therefore the role of the dental technician change?
Oliver Brix: Both have been changing for a long time. Dentistry has already undergone massive changes, not least through the introduction of the digital workflow. Process chains are different today than they were a few years ago. This also affects us dental technicians. We act much more as consultants by assisting the dentist in the choice of technology and material and at times even with functional problems. Our know-how is in demand. Compared to the past, a large part of our duties today consists of planning and forward-looking analyses.
The job description of a dental technician comprises much more than before. In addition to manual dexterity, other skills are also required such as marketing, computer technology, photography, chromatics and physics. And of course, the awareness that we are dealing with a human body.
What is your opinion on CAD/CAM and digitization?
Oliver Brix: We have at least already dipped our toes in. It is not possible to process zirconium oxide without CAD/CAM. Wax milling – This is a great tool for tackling patient cases efficiently. Implant restorations at this level would not be possible without CAD/CAM. The same goes for temporary restorations. Milled temporary restorations are a blessing in comparison to the traditional methods.
The innovations in the field of digital technology at the IDS have inspired us. Basically, we are not interested in completely new technologies, but instead in improvements of existing techniques available in the digital market. In this respect, I must say: A lot has happened. Especially as far as the discs and/or blocks are concerned or the processing strategies. I am very excited to see where this is going for us.
The original version of this interview appeared in the German specialist magazine, issue 9/2017 “Dental Dialogue”.
Experience Oliver Brix in Rome live
Oliver Brix speaks on the 4th International Expert Symposium. This will take place under the title “Advanced Digital and Esthetic Dentistry” on 15 and 16 June 2018 in Rome/Italy.
©Photos: Teamwork Media AG