Pilot Safety Secrets for Dentists
Lidocaine, check. Probe, check. Suction, check.
If you're lucky, you may be hearing that refrain in your dentist's office one day soon. Research done at the University of Michigan by three dentists, two of whom are pilots, found that two hallmarks of airline safety can increase the safety and success of dental procedures: checklists and crew resource management.
Success Key No. 1: The Value of Checklists
Using a checklist is one of the best ways to mitigate human error, according to Russell Taichman, a doctor of dental medicine and co-author of the study.
"A checklist is a backstop," he says. "It allows you to concentrate on the task at hand, knowing that the basic details have been attended to."
Checking off items like the following can help your dentist make dental checkups more efficient:
- Has your medical history been updated?
- Have potential drug interactions been checked?
- Have you been taking the proper medication before dental surgery?
- Have all contaminated materials been cleared away between patients?
Success Key No. 2: The Benefits of Teamwork
Crew resource management (CRM) is another great tool borrowed from pilots, says doctor of dental surgery and study co-author Harold Mark Pinsky, who flies for a major airline. It's a safety protocol that defines "how you work as a team."
In commercial aviation, CRM encourages other members of the flight crew to speak up and even question the captain when they see something going wrong. Airlines implemented CRM three decades ago to address human error, a contributing factor in many airplane accidents. The new research suggests that dentists should take a page from airline pilots' playbook and use CRM in their own offices.
Dentists should encourage their staff to feel empowered, says Pinsky. "If the dentist is too authoritarian, the assistant won't speak up when she sees something is wrong.
What if you, as a patient, suspect that your dentist is making an error? "You've got to speak up," says Taichman. "If you catch a mistake when it's happening, it can be addressed before it becomes unmanageable."
Taichman says that it's a cultural shift: It won't happen overnight, but it can happen step-by-step. You can help speed along the process: Before your next checkup, print out this article and show it to your dentist. He may be surprised by your initiative, but when his service becomes flawless and his reputation better, he'll thank you.
Susan Crandell writes about health for such magazines as Prevention and Ladies' Home Journal. She is the founding editor of More, a magazine for women in their 40s and 50s and the author of Thinking About Tomorrow: Reinventing Yourself at Midlife.
More on better dental checkups from our sponsor
Available at Amazon.com:
- Understanding Headache Pain: Causes and Treatments Vary Widely
- Take the 'Small Steps' Challenge to Discover a Healthier You
- Hand-washing 101: Kill Germs, Don't Spread Them
- Pilot Safety Secrets for Dentists
- Healthy Diet Can Help Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes
- Overcoming Insomnia: Lifestyle Changes, Medication, Psychotherapy Can Help
- Everybody Say Om: The Real Powers of Meditation
- Green Veggies and Fruit Pack a Big Nutritional Punch
- Many Mouthwash Claims Don't Hold Up
- Know Your Vitamins: Vitamin K
- Health Benefits of Tea
- Spring-cleaning Checklist for Your Health
- Fasting Can Have Many Benefits for the Body
- The Glycemic Index Explained
- Letting Go of Grudges Helps Your Health
- Health and Wellness With Doctor Oz
- Foods to Boost Your Moods
- How Terrible is it to Skip Meals?
- Is Your Lunch Safe to Eat?
- Create a Healthy Diet
- 8 Foods for a Beautiful Smile
- Image Makeover Turning Coffee Into a Health Food
- Pick Blueberries for Brain Defense
- Tips to Manage Blood Sugar
- 5 Fats You Should Eat Every Day
- Does Money Buy Happiness?
- Vitamin Sources From A to K
- The Important Vitamin You May Be Forgetting
- Fill 'Er Up! Protein At Breakfast Impacts Satiety
- Preexisting Conditions Common in United States
- Talking to Teens About Marijuana: 9 Do's and Don'ts
- Break Habits That Harm the Heart
- The Pros of Probiotics: What's Good for the Belly Benefits the Brain
- Get Relief For Everyday Aches and Pains
- Seek Immediate Treatment at First Signs of Stroke
- Healthy Lifestyle Choices the Best Way to Minimize Cancer Risk
- Are Drugstore Blood-Pressure Machines Accurate?
- Get Over Your Childhood Eating Habits
- 5 Tricks That Make Your Dentist Happy
- Could You Have Bad Breath Today?
- Eat Less, Live Longer? Calorie Restriction May Boost Longevity
- How Much Protein Should I Eat?
- Are Eggs Good or Bad for You?
- Good Nutrition Vital to Maintain Healthy Immune System
- Guide to Weight Loss Success
- Eating-right Resolutions for Busy People
- Dieting Do's and Don'ts
- Secrets From the World's Healthiest Countries
- Your Cold-fighting Grocery List
- Why Stress Can Be Good for You
- Living-Donor Transplants Are Becoming More Common
- 7 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues Today
- The Dangers of Type D Personality
- Become an Imperfectionist
- 5 Daily Habits for a Healthier You
- Are Germ-killing Products Harming Your Health?
- Get a Step Ahead of Flu Season
- Healthy Lifestyle Changes You Can Make Right Now
- Good Health Is A Sound Investment
- Mushrooms Have Medicinal As Well As Culinary Value
- Healthy Snacks for Energy
- Power Up with Hidden 'Superfoods'
- Strong Relationships Are Good For Your Health
- For Help With Medical Bills Cut a Deal With the Doctor
- Are You Overdosing on Dairy?
- How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy at Any Age
- How the Dentist Helps Your Heart
- Why Stress Can Be Good for You
- The Obesity - Cancer Connection
- The Far Reach of Fast Food
- Skip the Eggnog: These Holiday Foods Are Good For You
- Looking for the Mark of the Mediterranean Diet
- 12 Steps to Healthy Holidays
- Why Power Naps at Work Are Catching On
- Enjoy the Holidays Without Piling on the Pounds
- The Benefits of Indulgence
- The Best Way to Kill Germs
- Best Cold-buster Strategies
- Gift Giving Made Healthy
- Managing Dental Phobia
- Is the Bedbug Threat Real?
- 10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel
- Junk Food Addiction Is All Too Real
- Cranberries: Our Holiday Season's Sparkling Gem
- Foods that Fuel the Immune System
- Powerful Nutrition for Strong Bones
- Bone Up On Bone Health
- Music Only Path to Movement for Some People With Motor Disorders
- Counterfeit Medicines: Health and Harm
- FDA Cracks Down on Caffeine-Charged Alcoholic Drinks
- Fruit and Vegetables: Americans Fall Short
- How to Properly Eat Your Veggies
- Healthy Eating Tips for a Busy Lifestyle
- Top 10 Surprising Facts About Smiling
- Bad Habits That Are Good for You
- How to Decipher Product Labels
- New Applications Turning Cell Phones Into Medical Devices
- The Virtual Therapist Will See You Now
- New Findings Turning Coffee Into A 'Health Food'
- Food Allergies: When Food Bites Back
- Healthy Hot Drinks Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
- Have Glowing Skin for All Seasons
- Best Health Advice I Ever Got
- The Serious Hazards of Soda
- How to Turn Setbacks into Bounce-backs
- Stay Healthy When Everyone Else Is Sick
- How Personality Affects Your Health
- A Sensitive Issue: Salt Restriction
- Would Your Kitchen Pass a Restaurant Inspection?
- Should I Stop Taking B12 Supplements?
- Tap Water Toxins: Fact or Fiction?
- Love Your Liver: Natural Liver Support
- Healthy Eating Guide to Cereal
- Load Up On Vitamin C
- Vitamins That Keep Your Brain Young
- 5 Superfoods You're Not Eating
- Boost Dental Health with Honey and Agave Syrup
- Oral Health Sweet Shocker
Copyright © 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.