In the world of football and in dentistry too, teamwork is indispensible. A good working partnership between the dental technician and the dentist is needed to achieve a result, which will satisfy all the parties involved.
How will teamwork in dentistry develop in the future? What can dental technicians and dentists do to improve their teamwork skills? We have summarized a few important tips on this topic:
1. Communicate: Make sure to exchange information effectively
Good communication is essential in all parts of life – and this includes the channels between the dental practice and the dental lab. The many different digital options available today make it extremely easy to pass on information. Data can be sent with the push of a button in next to no time. Fully automatic process chains offer the best possible prerequisites.
That may be all fine and good, but effective communication involves a whole lot more than sending emails and text messages back and forth. Direct and personal contact will continue to play an important part in the future. Every case is different. You have to work closely with your dentist in order to work with great accuracy and deliver predictable results.
2. Understand: Look beyond your dental lab
The ability to identify with others is indispensible for constructive and successful collaboration. You need to gain an understanding of the procedures that are followed in your dentist’s practice! The working steps at the dental unit are completely different to those in your lab. Dental practices have their own specific needs and concerns.
Understanding is required on the part of everyone involved in the restorative process. It allows you to put yourself in your dentist’s shoes. This will help to prevent the occurrence of any errors right from the beginning. For example, an incorrect bite or shade, which is usually detected only at the very end, can be avoided altogether.
3. Advise: Offer professional service
Professional advice is essential – not only for the patient but also for the dentist with whom you are working. Remember that you are providing everyone with a service. It is a good idea to have a consultation appointment with the patient in which you and the dentist can advise the patient together and show the options that modern dentistry has to offer in terms of esthetics, materials, pricing and treatment length. The joint goal is to provide the patient with professional guidance throughout the treatment process. This will allow everyone involved to make sure that the important criteria of esthetics, phonetics, shape, shade and function are properly met.
4. Select the right material: The burden of choice
Today’s dental technicians have an immense choice of materials at their disposal. The variety of available materials, equipment and processing techniques seems to be unlimited. It is of utmost importance to establish the most suitable dental material for the case at hand when you meet with the patient. The aim is to produce high quality. You might be interested to know that the noun “quality” is derived from the Latin “qualis” (of what kind), and the quality of the restoration is dependent on the kind of material selected.
In order to achieve the best possible quality and ensure the longevity of the restorative work, the dental technician must also be thoroughly informed about the cementation options. Patients, clinicians and dental technicians will only be satisfied if long-term success is guaranteed.
5. Learn: Grow as a team
Attend training events for dental practitioners and technicians. Insist on the program being carried out in an inclusive environment (not in separate facilities). Take advantage of the opportunities offered by an interdisciplinary exchange – during presentations and at an event. A positive side effect: In many cases, participating in a training course together improves the way in which the dental technician and the dentist work with one another on a daily basis. Learning together develops a strong team.
Joint success deserves twice as much celebration!
Conclusion: Solving a case should be managed as a project
Excellent coordination and close collaboration are indispensible prerequisites in the achievement of excellent results. Consistent further development and education will expand your horizons and strengthen your relationship with “your” dentist. Planning a case together will put you on the right track. Planning a case is a project with
- established goals (wishes and needs of the patient)
- a defined time frame and costs (deadlines, costs)
- specific milestones (try-in, provisional period, permanent restoration)
- follow-up measures (aftercare, recall appointment)
Make an effort to tackle your projects together from now on.
Do you have other suggestions that you would like to share with regard to improving the collaboration of dental technicians and dentists? Would you like to tell us about your experiences? We welcome your contributions and look forward to hearing from you.
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