The technician’s role in immediate load cases!
Clinical Dental Technician Jonathan Dean explains why a technician’s role is essential to both the clinician and patient to ensure a successful outcome in immediate loading procedures.
Predictability should be inevitable with the pre-planning and integration of today’s advanced diagnostic tools; however, it is still commonplace to experience complications and challenges when restoring, from the relatively routine to the more complex cases. Such obstacles can be hugely minimised by establishing a strong, cohesive team and by addressing the dreaded “C” word – communication.
If you can establish and implement tried and tested protocols around ‘teamwork’ and ‘communication’ you can be confident that all parties are heading towards one common goal. Nevertheless, in implant dentistry, there is often a lot of emphasis around the implant dentist and their in-house clinical team, but what about the technician – how important is their role and where do they fit in the immediate load puzzle?
The role of the technician in supporting the clinician should never be underestimated. Communication in the initial stages of the case is fundamental in understanding the desired outcome in terms of form, fit and function for the patient. However, most often than not, the technician doesn’t always have the privilege of being able to see the patient until the day of placement and so rely largely on the dentist to gather all the information required.
Case prep – From instructing the technician on aspects such as tooth shape, colour, size, occlusion, and patient likes and dislikes etc., the more time and effort that the dentist spends fine-tuning the provisionals and discussing the case with the technician, the better the template the laboratory has to work from. The more closely aligned the dentist and technician are the greater the outcome will be in meeting all parties’ expectations.
A lot of the pre-work planning is via initial telephone or face-to-face conversation supported by ongoing emails, texts and photos as the case progresses. That’s the beauty of advanced ‘instant messaging’ communication channels which allow the dentist and technician to discuss the case more or less on a 24/7 basis.
Surgery day – When it comes to surgery day for our immediate-load cases, I insist that I am present on the day of surgery and ensure the entire team is ready and well-briefed on their roles and responsibilities before surgery commences. Discussion is always ongoing between the clinical team and technician during the surgical placement and the technician can play a vital role with case reassurance for both dentist and patient.
Recommended for dentists, nurses and technicians alike the course aims to help all professions develop their knowledge and understanding of the full-arch, immediate-load protocol and the teamwork required to predictably provide this treatment modality.
More specifically, I address the laboratory aspect of the course which explains why technicians are an integral part of the immediate implant placement journey. Delegates will learn the method of immediate fixed conversion, best practises for teamwork between the dentist and lab, as well as implant placement and getting the occlusion right. Advice on which diagnostic tools should be taken on surgery day to aid the clinician in the placing of the implants is also covered. We also discuss the digital workflow and how advanced dental technology can play a role in evolving techniques and communication.