It's possible for a dentist to work entirely unassisted. It's a very slow, tiring and frustrating way to work, but it can be done.
Adding a nurse to that equation (4-handed dentistry) speeds things up and makes the dentist much more productive. That's why almost every dentist has a dental nurse.
But, what about adding a second nurse and going to a “6-handed” set-up?
Is the extra cost justified in increased profitability and reduced stress?
That was a question I pondered several years ago when the issue of 6-handed dentistry was raised on a dental chat line. At that time I was working 4-handed and thought I had it all down pat. I didn't see how the extra pair of hands could help.
Nevertheless, being a “try it and see” type of person I gave 6-handed a go.
Was I ever amazed!
My treatment times came down 30% and work became much less tiring and stressful. The reasons why 6-handed dentistry is better than 4-handed are these two:
- You never have to wait. Everything is ready the moment you need it.
- You never have to change focus. Everything is handed to you right where you are working
The increased productivity I experienced paid for the cost of hiring a new nurse at least twice over and my life was made easier which is absolutely priceless.
If you haven't tried 6-handed dentistry you really should give it a go.