The Dawson Academy Blog

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

How to Fix Your Burn-Out in Dentistry

A generally negative attitude.
Inability to concentrate.
Feelings of stagnation and frustration.
Short temper.
Constant exhaustion.
Frequent boredom. 

Do any of these describe you at work? If so, you might be headed down the dark path of (unnecessary) burn-out in your dental career.

Dr. Peter Dawson often says, “dentistry is the most exciting hobby in the world.” That might sound like a load of bologna, though, if you’re experiencing poor work/life balance, case failures, low treatment acceptance, high patient volume, low profitability and the list goes on.

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If a patient is in pain before loading begins, is the patient completely in CR?

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

Question: If a patient is having pain when manipulated into Centric Relation (CR) before loading even begins are you suspecting that the patient is not completely in CR, or maybe intracapsular disorder?

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When a patient has more pain after wearing a B-Splint

This video is an excerpt from the June 2015 Dawson Faculty Office Hours with Drs. Jeff Scott and Steve Hoard. Moderating is Dr. Pio Modi (PM). 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: What do you do with a pain patient who has more pain after wearing a B-Splint?

JS: The first thing is: take it out. You knew that already. The point is - the pain got worse. Now I don't know exactly what pain that person had to start with (because that information wasn't provided with this question) - was it joint pain or muscle pain? 

If you're wearing a B-Splint, typically that's an anterior deprogrammer, that appliance is designed to help with muscle incordination and clenching. Now we can't get rid of clenching completely. We just decrease the amount of muscle contractive force by 70% by putting an anterior deprogrammer in. So you say, well it's not going to 0, but a person that's had a lot of headaches and pain from clenching will get a lot better by wearing a B-Splint.

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How to Break Out of Your Dental Insurance Mindset

It is extremely common in today’s society for patients to be influenced by insurance companies. Patients often believe the insurance company is the last word when it comes to defining quality and necessary care. If you have ever had an unwarranted claim denial, a letter to your patient explaining you are trying to over-treat, suffered an undue delay in reimbursement, or had a patient tell you: “Just do what the insurance will pay for,” you know exactly the kind of havoc caused by this type of thinking. This frustration is why dental offices around the country are beginning to offer in-office dental savings plans.

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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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