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Associates: How to Implement Complete Care in a Non-Dawson Practice

When I started my Dawson training and my Dawson journey when I started going through the curriculum, I was actually an associate in a group practice. So I wanted to give you a couple of tips about how you can go back to your practice, a non-Dawson practice where you are an associate, and begin to implement some of the things that you are learning at The Academy.

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So the key is to get these patients into the complete exam and the complete treatment planning process.

During Hygiene Appointments

So a couple of routes that I found is, a lot of these patients, you are going be doing their periodic exam in the hygienist's room. And so I went back and was sure to train the hygienist on how to look for signs of occlusal instability like:

  • Wear
  • Migration
  • Mobility
  • Broken teeth.

And it is very helpful if they have an intraoral camera and can actually take pictures of these signs that they are seeing in the mouth before you come into the operatory. But if you do not have intraoral cameras, you can always use a good old hand mirror.

So you can actually pick up the hand mirror and show the patient some of the things that you are seeings, these signs of occlusal instabilty. And they taught us a simple phrase, when I was first going through the courses at The Academy, to say. "I am seeing some things in your mouth that I am concerned about that is showing us that there are signs that your bite is not stable and that, in fact, it is actually doing harm to your existing teeth. So I would like to have you back in and take a closer look at these areas and see how we could treat what might be causing these problems and give you some options for how to move forward."

So in the hygiene room is a great way, as an associate, to start implementing some of these principles.

During Procedures

And then, also, you will have people that will come into your operatory, maybe for a procedure just to have some simple fillings done. Or it may be that they actually have a broken tooth, or a crown that is broken, or veneer that is broken or come off, or even some chipped bonding.

And these are great opportunities to talk to them. And you can simply say, "We know a lot more about the bite relationship and how the bite relationship contributes to some of these problems that you are having than we knew a few years ago. And so I would like to give you an opportunity to come back in and let us take a closer look at your bite."

And I like to use the analogy of tires on the car and tell the patients that if we are going put a new tire on the car, we want to make sure that it is in balance with all the other tires. That way it lasts as long as possible, and you do not have any unexpected blowouts. And the patients can understand this analogy really well.

And if they understand that it is going to help them to make their dentistry last longer and prevent future problems like the one that they may be coming in to see you for now, then it is a great way to begin to get these patients into that complete exam process and be able to give them a complete treatment plan.

5 Diagnostic Components in Dentistry for Predictable Success

Dr. Angela Gribble Hedlund completed her undergraduate training at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree. She received her DMD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in Augusta Georgia, and has completed an ADA-accredited program in Advanced General Dentistry at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Hedlund practiced with Goldstein, Garber, & Salama for 16 years, and have recently opened a private practice in North Atlanta. She has practiced dentistry in Atlanta since 1994. Dr. Hedlund has also received extensive training in esthetic dentistry. She has received her certificate in the Postgraduate Program in Esthetic Dentistry from Baylor, as well as completing the Comprehensive Esthetic Restorative Continuum at the same institution. During her postgraduate studies at the Medical College of Georgia, she was awarded the Goldstein Esthetic Dentistry Award, presented yearly to a senior student who has shown exceptional interest and talent in the area of esthetic dentistry. She is an active member in the Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry where she is currently an accreditation candidate. Dr. Hedlund is an active contributor to organized dentistry. This began when she served as the first female president of an MCG dental class, and a representative to the American Student Dental Association executive council. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, the Hinman Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry, where she has completed over 1,500 hours of continuing education in dental studies. She has received her Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry; this is an honor held by fewer than 2% of dentists in the country. In July 2006 she became one of the youngest women ever to receive Mastership in this Academy. Dr. Gribble also is on the dental advisory council for the Christian Medical Dental Assocation. Dr. Gribble has published articles in the Journal of Esthetic Dentistry and the Journal of the American Dental Association. She has served as a contributing editor to the Dental Study Club Journal, which contains reviews from leading clinicians on articles from over seventy-five international dental journals. She also lectures on the subjects of restorative and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Gribble paid for a large portion of her education and received lots of “smile practice” in the Miss America Scholarship programs. She was 2nd runner-up in Miss Augusta in 1991, and 2nd runner-up in Tennessee’s America Junior Miss Pageant in 1985. Dr. Angie Gribble Hedlund enjoys singing, scrapbooking, and is a master scuba diver. She is an active member of the Atlanta Women’s Medical Alliance and Bible Study Fellowship where she serves as the Substitute Teaching Leader for the Norcross Women’s class. She and her husband Richard are members of Roswell United Methodist Church. They volunteer regularly with the children’s program there with their 2 daughters Tori and Lexi.