Sure, scanning, 3D modelling and milling have been around for decades, but the sudden uptake of new manufacturing techniques, and rapidly dropping costs, are suddenly making it widespread.
And this can cause a problem.
What a lot of this technology does is force the dentist to be more involved in the technical work.
Dread! You remember with dread the evenings in dental school getting forced to do useless denture setups and pour models and mount things on articulators. This wasn’t what you signed up for. This was technicians work. You were going to be a dentist and the moment you graduated, this would all be outsourced to the technician.
Then you notice someone doing composites with fine surface texturing. How do they do that?
Then you buy a program that allows you to design teeth in CAD. Why aren’t they looking right? The ceramist has spent thirty years mastering this, but CAD allows you to master it in a couple of hours?
You mill some veneers and tint them, but there’s something off and you can’t put your finger on it.
So you send it to a lab and get perfect results and get a massive lab bill.
So you send it to a less fancy lab, and get a small lab bill, but can’t communicate to the technician what they have to change to get the case right.
All the best restorative dentists both understand the laboratory side of dentistry really well, but have often at some point (often in their residency if they are a prosthodontist) done a lot of lab work.
And you cannot train your technician to do finer work, or trouble shoot problems, if you know nothing about it.
Some of the best courses you can do in restorative dentistry will be run by technicians.
Learn the finer details of doing diagnostic waxups. Learn the finer details of mounting models accurately. Learn the finer details of getting accurate stone models.
And for aesthetics, do some courses for ceramists. Your ability to communicate with the technician and guide them to what you want will be massively increased if you’ve been trained to do feldspathic buildups, or cut back and stacks, or ceramic surface detailing.
Obviously, there are famous courses like the Oral Design ones in Europe, Bill Marais and several others in the US and the likes of Szabi Hant. These are a couple the come to mind and of course there many, many others.
Don’t be too posh to learn to be a technician. It’ll make you a better dentist.
If you found this helpful, please like, comment or share. List some technician courses that would be helpful for dentists.
Dr Lincoln Harris has been completely focused on excellence and quality from the beginning of his career as a dentist. He established the first private dental practice in Bargara – Harris Dental Boutique in 2000. Since graduation he has trained extensively in Aesthetic Implant Techniques and Full Mouth Rehabilitation to attain immense skill and knowledge. With his vast dental knowledge Dr Harris coaches and trains dentists from all over the world on complex aesthetic dentistry, surgical techniques and business management. Dr Harris is the founder of RIPE. Restorative Implant Practice Excellence: Full Protocol group an international forum of over 70,000 members worldwide. The purpose of the group is to share information and excellence in the dental industry. He has also lectured in multiple cities throughout Australia, North America, Asia, Singapore, United Kingdom and Europe.