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12 February 2020

Communication in Dentistry

Lorenzo Breschi


Is it important to communicate with world around us? Why do we have to learn about communication?
Does it really need to be considered a fundamental aspect of dentistry?

The term communication derives from the Latin "communis" and it is defined as the “process of passing information and understanding from one person to another”. In simple words it is the process of transmitting and sharing ideas, opinions, facts, values etc. from one person to another.
Communication is determined by emotional, cognitive, motivational and physical factors and it is fundamental for every human relationship. Therefore, is a very complex and dynamic phenomenon as it activates and involves many processes and implies a response from the recipient. Several scientific publications have demonstrated that communication is one of the most salient skills in regard to any clinician-patient relationship. In dentistry, good communication between patient and doctor is associated with increased efficiency and more accurate diagnosis, improved patient satisfaction and outcomes and a reduced number of complaints or litigation.

Despite these positive aspects, the importance of effective communication is often underestimated at both dental school and continuing education level. However, dentists who spend time communicating effectively with their patients and colleagues are likely to have better interpersonal connections and a more satisfying working life. In modern society, where verbal and visual communication is surrounding every aspect of our daily life the importance of the communication with the patient is becoming more and more crucial especially when dealing with the smile and its appearance. Indeed, the resolution of an aesthetic problem of the smile often involves not only the technical skills of the dentist, but also a whole series of aspects ranging from the emotional sphere to the personal perception of the "beautiful".
In this context, it is of primary importance to develop a workflow that allows the clinician to be able to communicate his final project to the patient, the recipient of the treatment, using the correct words and all the different technological tools available.
The pre-visualization of the expected result, more commonly known as digital smile design, is one of those and is increasingly useful and essential to increase the patient's participation in the design of his future smile, in order to obtain a personalized and successful result.  

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