Working with “Your” Team

This past weekend, while most folks were watching college football, a group of 12 dedicated dentists gathered in a board room to discuss some rather difficult clinical cases.

istock_buildingteamDuring the course, various topics such as occlusion, treatment sequencing, lab costs, TMJ health, dental implant options, bone grafting, restorative options, etc., were discussed.

However, one theme kept surfacing.

By the time we adjourned on Saturday the group had come to the conclusion “it takes teamwork to properly plan, coordinate, and execute complex treatment for our patients.”

Let me explain further.

Engaged in our group was a lecturer with an extensive perio-pros background, 9 restorative doctors, and an oral-maxillofacial surgeon.

We also had representatives from a partner dental lab, a dental implant representative with several years of experience, a knowledgable implant treatment coordinator, and the surgeon’s clinical staff.

All of these “team members” contributed to the discussion and brought out valid points that drove the overall process of treatment planning the group’s cases.

At times a case looked overwhelming.

But once the group started to break it down into smaller segments, and each team member could give input on how they could or could not contribute, the case ended up less daunting and manageable.

Although I took away some very valuable clinical information, I believe the most important thing I learned was to think of treatment planning as a team effort.

Talk to your specialists about what they can do to assist in a case.  See if there are limitations on what can be accomplished from an endodontic, orthodontic, periodontal, and surgical standpoint.

Contact your lab and use them as a resource.  They see hundreds of cases a year and may have dealt with a similar case where they provided a successful restorative solution.

Utilize your sales representatives.  Many of them are trained in the use of the products they are selling.  Put aside your ego and see what they may have to offer you and your staff.

Finally, do not ignore your staff.  They have ideas that you should at least consider.  Whether or not you implement them is your choice.

Staff members also have talents that you may not realize.  Mentor your staff.  Find their talents.  Delegate.

In short, build your team.

Surround yourself with a great team and I feel you will be surprised at what you can accomplish.



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