The Dawson Academy Blog

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

Return to Blog Index

The 4 Elements of Predictable Dentistry

The necessary elements for the treatment planning process.

Let's begin from the basics of what this means. Anything that we teach you that's predictable starts with a four-stage process.

That first step is the complete exam, the second step is the treatment planning process, the third step is provisionalizing the restorations, and the final step is the delivery of the final restorations. I'd like to go through each one of those with you briefly to explain the importance of how each one is related to the other.


1. The Complete Exam

The complete exam involves understanding your patient's joint position, muscles, and how the teeth relate to each other. This examination is very comprehensive. It needs dedication of time and effort, but it also determines whether you're dealing with a stable or unstable occlusion.

In most cases, most of your patients will be an unstable situation. Having said that, that leads you into creating diagnostic records. Part of that process requires perfect impressions, a perfect facebow, accurate diagnostic photographs and, more importantly, an accurate centric relation bite.

That process leads you into the next step which is the treatment planning process.

2. Treatment Planning

Once you've got verification of accurate models, then it's time to go through the checklists The Dawson Academy provide. I recommend that you don't skip any steps on either the 2-Dimensional or the 3-Dimensional checklist.

At the end of that process, regardless of how simple or complicated the case is, you're going to fulfill the five requirements of a stable occlusion. Once you've verified this on the articulator that will now give you the templates needed to provisionalize your restorations. That will take us into the third step.

3. Provisional Restorations

It'll give you an idea of how to prep your teeth. It will also give you an idea to duplicate where that incisal edge position is going to be, whether it's on the lower anterior teeth or, more importantly, the upper anterior teeth.

The provisional stage, which is the third step, allows you to predictably design your restorations and during this process we want our patient to test-drive your restorations. Have them come back to your practice, adjust anything that's necessary related to phonetics, function, and esthetics of course.

Once we get the approved provisionals from our patient, that is the time to duplicate that and make sure we have proper communication with our lab technicians. You can also send certain stents along with your impressions of your provisionals and that gives permission to the technician to start beginning the final restorations.

4. Final Restorations

The last step which is the delivery of the final restorations should really duplicate, if not mimic, the provisional stage. That is the beauty of the predictability and that is probably the most exciting part of this whole process is that when you complete the case, there's very little adjusting necessary because you've already planned out everything ahead of time in the provisionals.

So in order to do predictable dentistry, we recommend those four steps but each of those four steps is related to each other but it all starts with a complete, thorough examination. I hope this makes sense and I hope that you are practicing complete dentistry and using all of those four elements.

To learn more about our treating planning process and the pathway to predictable, successful dentistry, sign up for the Functional Occlusion - From TMJ to Smile Design course. 

 How to Easily Plan Patient Centered Dental Treatment

Photo by Makarios Tang on Unsplash

Dr. Khanna grew up in Toronto, Canada where he attended the University of Toronto and completed his Bachelor of Science degree (1989). He then continued post graduate school at the University of Detroit Mercy – School of Dentistry and earned his D.D.S. degree (1993). Dr. Khanna then completed a General Practice Residency at the University of Rochester-Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York (1994). After being an associate dentist for several years, Dr. Khanna opened his practice (March 2000) in beautiful downtown Geneva, Illinois. Since then, Dr. Khanna has been extensively involved in continuing education, and recently completed training at the prestigious Dawson Academy (St. Petersburg, FL). Dr. Khanna has dedicated his practice to excellence in comprehensive restorative and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Khanna’s philosophy involves treating every patient in the four aspects of complete dentistry. This includes achieving harmony between jaw joints, muscles, supporting tissues, and teeth. Dr. Khanna is licensed to provide patients with conscious or moderate sedation for all dental procedures. He completed training at the University of Illinois-School of Dentistry [Chicago] in 2003 where he was trained by the head of the Oral Maxillofacial Surgery department for 9 months. Since then Dr. Khanna has been providing sedation to patients for all dental procedures. If you or someone you know is interested in dental sedation, please contact our office for more information. Dr. Khanna is dedicated to his wife Jeanie and his two children, Raj, and Maxime.