Dr Mark Hassed

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:

  1. You will work more intelligently and get the job done much faster.
  2. 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.

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