Quality of communication between dentists and dental laboratory technicians in Malta
Liam Azzopardi, Emad Eddin Alzoubi, Mario Zarb
Liam Azzopardi (email@example.com)
Communication, Dentists, Laboratory, Technologists, Clinic
Abstract: Purpose. The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of communication between the dental clinic and dental laboratory from a dental laboratory technicians’ point of view and to offer means for improving communication between these two workplaces. Methods and Materials. This pilot study was carried out on 38 dental laboratory technicians comprising of 14 dental laboratory technicians from the Dental Laboratory –Dental Department, Mater Dei Hospital along with 24 dental laboratory technicians from private dental laboratories spread across the Maltese Islands. The study used binomial tests as the form for inferential analysis of results with the reference level of significance set up to 5%( = 0:05) whereby a percentage of 75% was viewed as being significantly disparate from p = 50% with 84.6% of statistical power, assuming a 95% level of confidence. The collection of data was taken through the use of a questionnaire issued on a one-time basis. Results. The study reported 65.6% of dental technicians received impressions in a non-disinfected state (p = 0:110). 40.6% of dental technicians found the written dental clinic prescription card instructions as ‘Good’ (p = 0:001**) whilst 46.9% ‘Occasionally’ interact with their dental patients (p = 0:215). 31.3% of dental technicians view themselves as ‘Important-Very important’ (p = 0:302). The majority of dental technicians are comfortable discussing prosthesis design with dentists (87.5%) (p<= 0:001***). Conclusion. Communication between the dental clinic and dental laboratory was found to possess several strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of Maltese dental technicians. There is room for improvement in communication between these two dental workplaces.