Wednesday, August 19, 2015

House of Delegation

Continuing the trend of my venture into computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) dentistry, I wanted to touch on an appropriate subject, one that ultimately has far reaching significance to us as dentists, owners, and team leaders.

Let’s get one thing straight… we’re (and I mean our profession as a whole) control freaks. Plain and simple.

If you’re not, please teach me your ways! It’s clear in how we run our business, manage crazy schedules, and control large staffs. How we’ll redo a veneer three or four times until it’s 110 percent perfect. Why we are drawn to doing in-house dentistry—implants, orthodontics, and periodontal surgery. We wear lots of hats and we are expected to be top-notch at all of them. To a certain degree, that is manageable. At some point though, it becomes a transient, unattainable level of perfection. And it is a burden to our egos, our souls, our control centers.

A great example of this, and why the topic is stamped on my brain, is in the world of CAD/CAM dentistry. The technology is rather straightforward for us as trained dentites—especially the gaming-driven Millennials like me. A little instruction, some practice, and voilá, we got it. Scan, design, mill, and deliver. We could do it all day (sign me up!). What’s tougher is to give up that control and delegate it—at least in part—to your team members. It takes communication, teamwork, patience, and a lessening of one’s ego.

Think about how hard it would be for us to do, without all the waxing we did in dental anatomy or the oodles of crown preps we’ve done (to the point that we could basically outline our margins with a blindfold on the straightforward cases). Our assistants don’t have these same benefits so it may take them a bit more time to grasp the learning curve—and that’s OK.

You see, when we stick to our controlling ways, no one wins. We become isolated, our staff doesn’t know what we want when we want it, and they get upset with us. Our production and morale suffer. It’s a lose-lose. On the flip side, sharing the duties with our team members gives them a sense of responsibility, confidence, and self-respect. Win-win! 

In the CAD/CAM world, much like the larger field of dentistry in which we practice, delegation is key. It keeps everyone busy, happy, and learning. Our integration specialist gave us a good one liner, and I think it rings quite true:

Delegate and we ALL celebrate!

Donald Murry III, DMD

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