There are years and years of psychological research that proves that people cannot multi-task.
What happens is that people task switch. They pay a little attention here then a little attention there back and forth.
The net result is that while in this “multi-tasking” state people do perform multiple tasks but each task is done very poorly.
That's why people talking on mobile phones while driving are dramatically more likely to have an accident. A woman in Melbourne recently was hit by a tram she stepped in front of while talking on her mobile.
The relevance to dentistry is obvious.
So many dentists I observe like to talk and work simultaneously. I've even seen dentists drilling on a tooth as they chat with the nurse about the day's events.
Do you want yourself “dumbed down” as you perform and intricate task cutting human tissue? Does a patient deserve better?
The answer is obvious.
But, please let me give you two more reasons not to talk and work at the same time:
- You will work more intelligently and get the job done much faster.
- You patient will appreciate it. I have a patient who left his previous dentist because the dentist didn't pay attention when he was drilling.
Pay full attention while you are working. It's best for all concerned.