One ‘multidisciplinary specialist’ vs. a team of specialists - who wins?

– Dr Nupur Shrirao, Editorial for May 2022 e-book issue (Volume 5, Issue 5)

(The e-book is authored by Dr Rockson Samuel + Team DentalReach and edited by Dr Nupur Shrirao)

Often a dentist (usually in a small clinic) says: “I can handle almost all complex situations. I have a lot of experience, I am constantly improving my level of training.

The team approach to treatment is replaced by the work of a ‘multidisciplinary specialist’ since time immemorial, especially in smaller cities and towns. This multidisciplinary specialist is usually the principal dentist of the clinic, maybe a graduate or a postgraduate – the sole owner and worker, who may or may not keep a junior associate dentist – and prefers to do all cases by himself/herself, whether or not it falls within the scope of his/her skill or qualification. They fall into three categories:

  1. Experimental – who think everything can be learnt out of mere practice and experience.
  2. Studious – who read up theory, watch videos on YouTube, may practice on extracted teeth, and then perform on patient, probably at lower rates than the market rate.
  3. Upgraded – who constantly do weekend courses under mentors and upgrade themselves under supervision and experts.

Is a multidisciplinary specialist always able to ensure the quality of treatment? There are only a few talented jack-of-all-trades and the training system prevent them from appearing as geniuses. But can all those who practice as a one man army, be masters of all that they are performing? Do certificates of completion of numerous advanced but short training courses testify to the high professional level of this specialist? Where is the line between self-confidence and self-vanity? And how does a patient perceive a doctor who claims to know everything?

The problems of a multidisciplinary specialist is exacerbated when there is a difficult clinical situation.

Also read:  Stress-Free Dentistry Using ‘the 2P’s Principle’

Complicated clinical cases include cases in which tooth + periodontium + bone is involved. The success of treatment, as you know, will depend on taking into account the heterogeneous factors of therapy, surgery, periodontology, biomechanical properties of tissues of the maxillofacial region and functional/parafunctional occlusion. One specialist is unlikely to foresee all these factors and their combined manifestation; here, constant contact with colleagues – representatives of other dental specialties is necessary.

Case Example. In an implant case, if there is no attached gingiva at the site prior to extraction, then it is not enough to create these boundaries using a quick method. It is necessary to restore its biological width by periodontal procedures taking into account the future prosthetics and hygiene requirements – and then plan the type of extraction along with dimensions of the implant neck, crown space, occlusion etc. This clinical situation requires coordinated actions of a team of doctors who know related technologies, representing all the nuances to be considered by all colleagues.

The lack of knowledge and experience in working with the latest dental technologies in related fields must be compensated for, by combining the efforts of several narrow specialists.

To reinforce this, actions are being taken. In 2000, the Council of the Russian Dental Association approved the “regulations on the provision of dental care to the population using implants.” It recommends the composition of specialists: dentist-surgeon, dentist-therapist, periodontist, prosthodontist, dental technician, nurse, hygienist and X-ray laboratory assistant.

Here’s another example. Klaus K. Ernest (Stuttgart) in an article devoted to a complex technology – the manufacture of removable prostheses with bar fixation on implants using galvanic technology – concludes: a good result has been achieved thanks to the experience of joint work of a whole group of specialists and their close cooperation with the patient. An implant surgeon, a prosthodontist and a dental technician – all of them took a responsible attitude to the implementation of their stages of work, and this contributed to the successful solution of the entire problem.

It is clear who wins between one multidisciplinary specialist vs a team of specialists, and what should be practiced in your clinic. If you still believe one person must do it all, then this eBook is not for you. Please don't read it!

The Dental Dream Team – eBook on Practice Management, is dedicated to those who want to start a dental dream team of specialists or those who want to better their existing team for an exclusive, standardised dental experience. This can prove to be a challenging aspect of practice management, and this book is an attempt to simplify it. Each chapter begins with an abstract and ends with summary pointers. All chapters have numerous case examples, explaining real life clinical scenarios to better understand the text.

Small take-away before you read the eBook – The 3-point recipe of a successful dental team:

  1. Respect your valuable employees
  2. Create suitable working conditions and remuneration for them
  3. Benefit from them while they work for you.

Articles in this issue:

Part 1: What exactly is a Dental Dream Team?

Also read:  Mid Year Crisis!

Part 2: 6 principles of building a dental dream team of professionals

Part 3: A trap – a pseudo dream team

Part 4: Handling dental consultants in a private practice

Part 5: A curious case of a successful dental clinic head

Part 6: Your test sheet – A Checklist for making your own dream team

Grab your copy now!

To get your FREE ebook, kindly check out current issue articles here, email your self assessment and feedback to

Did you read our April 2022 issue? The theme was: DR Pronto Esthetic Special 2!

You can read our April 2022 special new year issue by clicking here.

>>> Up next: Stay tuned for the upcoming June issue! It will be an Implant Dentistry Special Issue!>>>

If you wish to contribute articles for our upcoming issues, get in touch with me on


  • Dr Nupur Shrirao is a consultant prosthodontist and a grammar Nazi! Besides dentistry, she enjoys giving stage performances and radio jockeying with All India Radio.

Dr Nupur Shrirao is a consultant prosthodontist and a grammar Nazi! Besides dentistry, she enjoys giving stage performances and radio jockeying with All India Radio.


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