The Dawson Academy Blog

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

Peter E. Dawson, D.D.S. is considered to be one of the most influential clinicians and teachers in the history of dentistry. He authored the best selling dental text, Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusal Problems, which is published in 13 languages. His latest book is entitled Functional Occlusion: From TMJ to Smile Design. He is the founder of the “Concept of Complete Dentistry Seminar Series (SM)” as well as The Dawson Academy. In addition to numerous awards and special recognitions, Dr. Dawson is the past president and life member of the American Equilibration Society, a past president of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.

Recent Posts

Time-Tested Process for Observing Symptoms of Occluso Muscle Disorder

In this blog article, Dr. Peter Dawson responds to a comment made on a previous article. The following was the comment:

It has been demonstrated repeatedly since 1997 that the relationship of bruxism to chronic craniofacial pain is non-linear. [1-4] In fact, 20% of the Raphael, et al, pain sample showed no bruxism. Lavigne lists among his finest work the discovery that sleep bruxism begins from an open mouth position with the action of the depressors. [5] This is not an “occlusal” problem beyond tooth wear, should the patient so decide. 

That being said, the nature of the pain is such, particularly as it relates to headache, that keeping the posterior teeth apart with an appliance can prevent headache. As Mahan and Alling pointed out in their text [6], we have known that since 1960. [7] 

Sessle, Dubner and colleagues have shown repeatedly that the pain of chronic M/TMD is not inflammatory. [8] Masticatory muscles are fatigue resistant over time, [9, 10] and the excess substance found is glutamate, not hydrogen ions from lactic acid in chronic craniofacial muscle pain. [11] 

The blog post of April 25 is not supported by the current science. 

Read More

How Does the Occlusal Plane Relate to the Anterior Teeth?

One of the most common mistakes I see in occlusal restorations is also the easiest mistake to observe. It is interference of the posterior teeth with the anterior guidance. A perfected occlusion allows the anterior teeth to contact in centric relation simultaneously, and with equal intensity with the posterior teeth. This harmony of contacts occurs with complete seating of the condyles at their most superior position, which is bone braced. This means that there is an ideal distribution of compressive contact starting at the TMJs, and continuing all the way through front tooth contact. This is the contact distribution that we want for centric relation.

When the jaw moves from centric relation, in a perfected occlusion only the anterior teeth contact. All posterior teeth distal to the cuspids should immediately separate. This is called "posterior disclusion". Separation of the posterior teeth should occur, whether the jaw moves forward or left or right from centric relation.

Read More

From the Inbox of Dr. Peter Dawson

Dr. Dawson receives emails and letters from clinicians all over the world asking questions and looking for clarification on all matters of Functional Occlusion and challenges in dentistry. 

From: A Dentist in Canada
Subject: Long Centric

Explanation of "Long Centric"

Assumption: Dawson centric relation is valid beyond a shadow of a doubt.  My 37 years of successful clinical experience validates the truth of this assumption. 

Read More