The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

Vertical Dimension & Severely Worn Teeth: Where Do You Start?

“I’m not sure where to start when vertical dimension is over closed and the teeth are all severely worn.”

If you’ve ever thought something along these lines, there are a few things that need to be cleared up.

One of the things that Dr. Dawson teaches us is that if patients have all their teeth and the teeth are worn, they have not lost vertical dimension even if the teeth are halfway gone. We know that as teeth wear there is an elongation of the alveolar process and eruption occurs. So the distance between the chin and the nose does not in fact change even in the case of extreme wear.

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How to Communicate the Need for a Complete Exam to Patients

This video is an excerpt from the April 2015 Dawson Faculty Office Hours with Drs. Leonard Hess and Rajeev Upadya. To watch the full office hours and to sign up for future office hours, visit the Videos and Webinars page

The following is a transcription of this video excerpt. 

Question from Devin:

Most patients at my practice expect quick fix dentistry: quick checkups and x-rays. 

I feel overwhelmed by all the signs of instability I see and feel like I need to do complete exams for everyone, but it's hard to convince them of the need for it when they just want a cleaning and fillings.

I try splitting the exam and doing photos to show them why we need a complete exam, and then book a second visit for the full thing. Any suggesions?

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How to Educate Patients: A Dentist's Role in Treating Sleep Apnea

As our understanding of Dentistry’s role in whole health advances, we have increasingly meaningful conversations with our patients and community. One of my patients is a wonderful physical therapist, who is strongly committed to educating her patients about whole health subjects, including oral health. She has asked me to write several articles for her practice newsletter.

This month we discussed obstructive sleep apnea and systemic inflammation. Below is how we explain a complicated subject as simply as possible, communicating the role of the dental team in whole health.

Perhaps you have opportunities in your community, through your patients and medical colleagues, to get the word out, about Complete Dentistry from TMJ to smile design, and from sleep apnea to systemic inflammation!

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Infographic: Is There a Demand for Implant Dentistry?

Implant Dentistry has been a huge topic, especially as of recent. You can't pick up a dental publication without seeing multiple articles surrounding the topic. 

Statistics show that Implant Dentistry can actually be the highest production per hour procedure and have the greatest lifetime financial opportunity for your practice.

So why leave that opportunity to just Oral Surgeons? The general dentist can (and should) play a major role in any case involving dental implants too.

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Why Do Patients Think Their Upper Anterior Teeth are Too Long?

Well, the short answer is probably because they are too long. They also might be too far out.

It’s important to remember that when you’re restoring maxillary anterior teeth, unless you give the laboratory very specific guidelines on where you want the maxillary incisal edge, their tendency is to make the teeth too long and to make them too far labially.The other thing that we have the tendency to do on maxillary anterior teeth is under-reduce, which sets up a lot of these problems.

One of the things that is extremely important to remember is that if all the lab has to go by is a nice model of the prepared teeth with good margins, they are simply guessing at where the maxillary incisal edges will be in space. We have to determine these things in the mouth and then give very specific communication to the lab on where that’s going to be, and then have some verification or protocols to make sure they do it.

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How frequently (and under what circumstances) do you use your Doppler?

This video is an excerpt from the April 2015 Dawson Faculty Office Hours with Drs. Leonard Hess and Rajeev Upadya. To watch the full office hours and to sign up for future office hours, visit the Videos and Webinars page

The following is a transcription of this video excerpt. 

Lenny: In my practice the doppler is one of the most indespensable tools I use. Those of you that have heard me teach at The Academy have heard me say that if you took the doppler away from me, I wouldn't be able to practice the way I practice. What the doppler does for me is give me peace of mind.

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How to Get a Patient to Accept Dental Treatment

Sometimes it’s hard to get patients to understand and accept the need for treatment.

The first thing to understand when it comes to patient acceptance is that patients won’t accept any course of treatment if they don’t understand that they have a problem. Particularly with equilibration it is important during the context of the examination that you first have a basic discussion about what optimum health is.

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