Problem-solving skills are crucial to your development as a dental implant surgeon. This includes your ability to recognise a problem and identify its cause. Then manage it.
In the heat of surgery when something goes wrong, your instinct may be to panic. Adrenaline takes over, which can spur you into action, but it may also cloud your judgment.
Panic causes us to blow small complications out of proportion. This emotional response may transform a little glitch into a massive crisis in your mind. Take a deep breath, evaluate, and then act. It is important to act swiftly, but never rush. The difference between the two is that the former is often performed with intention, while the latter, with recklessness.
Remaining calm is fundamental in successfully managing unexpected situations.
This is where mental rehearsal comes in handy before procedures. By picturing every step and every action, you will begin to familiarize yourself with the desired outcome. Like osmosis it sinks into your subconscious, and with enough practice, this can lead your hands automatically.
Visualize potential problems that can arise and solutions you can pursue. It’s helpful to prioritize the more common events instead of going through every single step that can go wrong. Not only will this frustrate you, but it can also affect your confidence.
Go through the usual complications linked to a procedure, and bear in mind that at the core of good problem-solving skills is critical thinking.
Critical thinking is the process of carefully and systematically analysing problems to find ways to solve them. It involves identifying several possible solutions and then logically evaluating each one, comparing them to one another on their merits, and then selecting the one that you conclude is the most appropriate.
It’s vital that you get the input of your colleagues. Be calm enough to remain receptive to their insight and confident enough also to proceed with the best course of action.
Through this, your problem-solving skills will develop over time, and you will slowly find it easier to manage complications.