I had the pleasure of being the teaching assistant to Glenn DuPont this fall as he led the dental treatment planning course in St. Petersburg. I really appreciated his candor in sharing with us some of his "research." Like many of us, Glenn has done "research" on occasion on how not to treat a case. I had the blessing for 16 years of practicing alongside Ron Goldstein and David Garber. As you can imagine, there were incredible opportunities to do comprehensive esthetic dentistry. I learned early in my career and through much "research" of my own that esthetic dentistry cannot be successful without understanding proper function. As a matter of fact, it were these case complications that led me to my first course with The Dawson Academy.
In my last blog post, I described the use of the T-scan in our office to cure “the Princess and the Pea” –an extremely occlusally aware patient that confounded us with her lack of satisfaction after reconstruction. We found the system equally valuable on the two subsequent patients that we analyzed that day.
Patient number two has an incredibly strong buccinator and orbicularis oris muscles. In addition he is heavy salivator, and we had real difficulty keeping the teeth dry. By evaluating his occlusion with T-scan sensor we were able to detect on the computer screen exactly where we needed to adjust even when the teeth were wet and would not mark well with the articulating paper. It was an invaluable help with this equilibration which I had dreaded on this challenging patient.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to try out the T-scan computerized occlusal analysis system. I was familiar with the system which was available in my former group practice, however, I had not used it to any great extent. I had received such good training that I rarely had any occlusal complications following a reconstruction or an equilibration and had not found a great need to evaluate my patients’ occlusions with the system. In 2011, I restored a patient that we have affectionately come to know as "the Princess and the Pea." This patient is incredibly loyal and gracious; she is also the most occlusally aware patient I have ever treated.
This whitepaper covers:
- Facts about periodontal disease & oral HPV
- The benefits of salivary diagnostic testing
- Facts about salivary diagnostic tests
- Scaling and root planning resistant pathogens
- HPV patient profile
To download this whitepaper, click here.
Did you like this whitepaper? Our Alumni Association provides monthly webinars on both clinical and management topics. Dr. Angie Gribble Hedlund was our guest speaking on Salivary Diagnostics in June 2012. To find out more about watching this webinar and more, click here.
I went to a great OSHA training seminar today. That sounds like a funny thing to say about an OSHA seminar, but the presenter was more like a stand-up comedian than a lecturer and made the material really interesting and entertaining. During the discussion of infectious pathogens, she devoted several minutes to Human Papillomavirus. This is a considerable area of interest for me as we have been using the OraRiskHPV diagnostic test to detect oral HPV in our patients for over a year.
I think often in an economic climate like this, we hear complaints so frequently about our fees and “money being tight” that we automatically begin to suggest compromises for many of our patients. We say that we are going to “watch” things or suggest an alternative treatment and assume our patients won’t go for what is best for them. This is certainly not the best way to maintain a financially healthy practice, and it is also not what’s best for the patient.
Here are some things I learned from Pete Dawson that have helped me maintain a successful practice in a down economy:
- Everyone deserves a complete exam.
- Don’t pre-judge who may or may not be interested in or have the money to carry out a complete treatment plan.
- Don’t take short cuts in your treatment planning process. This can result in problems and backtracking later.
- Take an interest in people; learn about them and get to know them. Finding a connecting point can turn even the grumpiest sour puss into a raving fan.
Like this article? Read another article: The Value of Education to Patients.
It didn’t seem like a very logical time to open a new dental office. Whether you want to call it a recession or an economic downturn times are tough everywhere. Unemployment’s up, the cost of gas is up, and for most people dentistry is down. For 16 years, I practiced in a world-renowned dental office with almost every specialist in dentistry. I enjoyed a state-of-the-art facility, an in-house laboratory and a 50 person support staff. I made a pretty good living, especially considering that I usually practiced about 3 days a week. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and experience has taught me that where He leads, it’s best to follow.
So last summer at age 42, I acquired a rather sizable loan from the bank, built out an office space, and hung a sign over the door with my name on it for the first time. In the beginning I felt like I was “drinking out of a fire hose” because there was so much to learn. I had never been responsible for payroll, balancing the books, arranging advertising, creating a logo, writing copy for a web site, and hiring employees. I was way out of my comfort zone. In addition, I was asking my new employees to have faith in this venture with me and trust me with their family’s livelihood, as well as my own.
Although I had concerns about the economy affecting people’s ability to afford good dental care, I have found people continue to value complete dentistry and are grateful for excellent care. They enjoy having a doctor who takes the time to establish a personal relationship, who evaluates their needs and provides a way for them to have the best oral health possible. Even patients who were new to our practice could see the difference in the exam I was taught to give through my experience with Pete Dawson and this Academy.
A comment that I hear frequently is, “I’ve never had an exam like that in my life!” They see the difference, and this earns the right for us to explain what we feel like the best course of care would be to maintain their oral health for the rest of their lives. It is different than a 5 minute exam in the hygiene chair. It is the systematic gathering of information, taking the time to study that information, and having the patient back to review a well-thought-out treatment plan that we can explain clearly using models and photographs.
In addition, the method that I was taught to communicate the benefits of treatment has been incredibly effective with our patients. I have been given the confidence through my time of study with the Dawson Academy to explain the treatment in a way that creates true value for the patient. And people will make a way to do what they find valuable. This has been a gift that has created success in my new practice even in times like these.
Did you like this article? You might also like The #1 Step to Improving Your Dental Practice.