Nfl Game Day

Championship communication with your dental lab: Part III

Dec. 4, 2014
Dentists and lab technicians both want to experience success, and communication is a key part of that success.

Editor’s note: The relationship between dental practices and dental labs have a lot more in common with football than you may realize. Here is Dr. David Rice’s perspective on how to make the relationship between the practice and dental lab more successful and less stressful.

In my 20 years of clinical practice, if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that championship teams are championship communicators. Just like on the football field, our first downs come a yard at a time. When we communicate well, we win games.

In part I of Championship Communication, we talked about defense winning championships, and how defense in dentistry translates to defining expectations on both the dentist and lab side of the ball. In part IIwe talked about building a consistent offense that predictably puts points on the board. So what’s the third ingredient in Championship Communication? Special teams!

How many times have you watched your team do everything right for 59 minutes, only to have the other team dial up that one special play and steal the victory? Your defense was solid. Your offense clicked, but their special play somehow made it happen. Were you frustrated? I understand. I’m a Buffalo Bills fan, and I still can’t watch Scott Norwood go wide right on the Super Bowl pregame.

When the chips are down, if we want to be a championship team, we need to have those last minute plays go our way. As a wise man once said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” (Louis Pasteur) So, what can your team do to make sure you come out on top? Youcan invest in technologies that give you an edge.

The Playbook: Shade taking systems
Calling the shade play isn’t always as easy as you may think. Line up 10 Vita classic guides side by side, and I guarantee that the coach thinks he’s called A1, the player taking in the play says A1, and the huddle often hears A1.5 or worse. Between quality control and oversimplification, this guide gets you in the stadium, but barely on the field when shade really counts.

Step up to a 3-D guide, and now you’re on the field. This guide looks at color the way it should be looked at, considering the big three of hue, value, and chroma. Playoff teams know this is a much better play than the basic shade guides.

If the clinical and lab teams want to step up their game to championship caliber, tooth shade scanners are impressive. If you want to have the coaches and players on the same page, check out a few of the systems available – SpectroShade Micro by Medical High Technologies, Easyshade Advance 4.0 Digital Shade Matching System by Vident, and Zfx Shade by Zfx GmbH.

CAD/CAM doesn’t have to mean the quarterback does it all. The CAD connection from dentist to lab is an amazing way to build a championship team. In fact, in many instances, it’s the ultimate way to win any game against any opponent. Think about it. On the dentist side, the quarterback gets to maximize today’s top imaging systems. He or she gets to see the preparations highly magnified to ensure they are what they need to be. In addition, with proper isolation, there are no impression pulls, bubbles, or tears.

On the lab side, the data is sent immediately. What can this accomplish? If there’s anything at all the lab needs, he or she can connect with the dentist in real time while the patient is in the chair! The lab techs are free to bring all the amazing materials and artistry they always have to the game.

In conclustion, let’s bring this championship article series full circle.

Dentists don’t like bringing patients back. We don’t like reprepping teeth, and we don’t like reimpressioning. It makes us feel like we’re second stringers and not worthy of the starting position. Labs don’t like to challenge the bad play. They don’t like to tell us our passes stink. They’ll do whatever they can to make up for the dentist’s bad impressions because if the dentist/ quarterback puts the fans in the seats and pays the bills, they understandably want to keep the quarterback happy. The CAD-CAM world has the capacity to make every negative play call disappear.

In the end, when there are seconds left on the clock and the title is on the table, we need to call our best plays, put our best players on the field, and do what we do best … win! Cheers to the teams who strive for greatness!

David Rice, DDS, is on a mission to improve our profession by leading the next generation of dentists to grow successful lives and practices. The founder of igniteDDS, Dr. Rice has spoken to 35 dental schools and residents across America on practice building, team building, and wealth building. Dr. Rice is a private practitioner, educator, author, and mentor who connects students, young dentists, and professionals from diverse dental-related businesses.