The Dawson Academy Blog

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

Dr. Leonard A. Hess maintains a comprehensive-focused private practice in Monroe, North Carolina. Growing up in the mid-west, Dr. Hess attended Indiana University for his undergraduate education. His doctor of Dental Surgery degree was obtained from Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago, IL. Dr. Hess is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Equilibration Society, ADA, AGD, NCDS, and CDS. Locally, Dr. Hess has served on the peer-review board for his ADA district. He has also served on the Board of Directors of SPCC College in Union Co. As a senior faculty member of the Dawson Academy, Dr. Hess has demonstrated a passion for learning and teaching from the very start of his career. In the past six years Dr. Hess has taught hundreds of hours of hands-on continuing education throughout the country. From study clubs to the AACD national meeting, Dr. Hess has helped thousands of his peers incorporate functional esthetic care into their practices. Dr. Hess currently evaluates and tests new products for manufacturers such as Whip-Mix, Septodont, Heraeus, Kerr, and Dentsply. In addition, Dr. Hess is a frequently featured author in Advanced Esthetics and Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Inside Dentistry, Contemporary Esthetics and Restorative Dentistry, and Vistas. Dr. Hess resides with his wife and son in Weddington, NC. Outside of dentistry he enjoys spending time with his family, golf, aviation, traveling, skiing, and auto racing.

Recent Posts

The Benefits of Using a Range of Motion Ruler

One of the keys to creating an effective and complete treatment plan is to diagnose the condition of the joint. And one of the important things to consider with the joint is what is the range of the motion of that joint?

Because the temporomandibular joint, just like any other joint in the body, should have a normal range of motion.

Transcript continued below...

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Dawson Quick Tip: Waxing Smarter Instead of Harder

I'd like to spend a few minutes discussing some of the ways that we can do what's called waxing smarter instead of harder when we're doing our three dimensional workups on the articulator.

Waxing can be a very frustrating skill to learn as we start to become a better Dawson Dentist and a better clinician, and start doing more two dimensional and three dimensional treatment plans for our patients.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Making the Lucia Jig More Predictable

I'd like to spend a moment with you discussing ways that we can make using a Lucia Jig more predictable.  Additionally, about creating our CR index on the Lucia Jig and how we can make that more predictable as well because that's one of the absolute keys to taking an accurate centric relation bite registration.

The Lucia Jigs are such a wonderful tool to help us to get the muscles deprogrammed and get the lateral pterygoid muscle to relax. Once we can create a lower index, a lower incisal index on that Lucia Jig, all we have to do then is put the wax in and create a centric relation bite registration.

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If a patient is in pain before loading, is the patient 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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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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The Process for Occlusal Splint Therapy

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: Describe your process for splint therapy

Dr. Leonard Hess: Ok that's a great question. If we have somebody we are suspecting has an intercapsular issue, which would be a medial pole issue, then we place them in a full-coverage orthotic splint (an SRS splint) so that we are meeting the requirements of occlusal stability; we are getting even contact, canine guidance and protrusive guidance.  That patient will go into splint therapy where we monitor them on a regular basis to see if the splint needs to be adjusted. As the joint becomes healthier, the splint almost becomes a bandaid. As we adjust it, we should see the joint to start to seat into the fossae again completely. We should be able to nurture the joint back into good health.

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