Communicating towards better collaboration 

Having swapped the dental chair for a seat at the ceramist table in the lab behind-the-scenes, Dr Kelvin Tantono has worn many hats in the dental clinic and with it, the perspective gleaned from these different roles. Hear from Dr Tantono on how communication underpins collaboration between dentists and technicians, and ultimately the quality of patient care provided. 

Dr Kelvin Tantono

In 2017 when I quit being a dentist and started my journey as a full-time ceramist, I faced new communication challenges in my work. As a dentist I mostly educate and provide information to the patient for patient compliance. However, communication between the dentist and dental technician is different.

With their respective skillsets, dentists and technicians collaborate to provide the best result possible for the patient. However, the journey towards this common goal can be full of challenges stemming from the way different parties communicate with one another. The impact of such communication processes should not be understated as it contributes to the success of the underlying collaboration.

As a starting point for a fruitful collaboration, both sides must see themselves equal and not overpower each other. This mindset comes prior to any communication processes, towards better collaboration.

The relationship between dentist and dental technician is essentially a human one. As with any other good human relationships, good communication strategies will provide a platform that encourages understanding and a clear relaying of purpose, information, and goals between the communication partners.

Communication between dentists and technicians can be divided into three phases: before lab, in lab, and after lab.  

To read the full article, click here or refer to Dental Asia November/December 2023 issue.