The Dawson Academy Blog

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

Dr. Pio Modi is the Associate Director of the Ambassador Program for the Dawson Academy and the Study Club leader for the Toronto Club. He maintains a private practice in Brantford, Ontario, Canada with a specific focus on Full Arch Restorative, Cosmetic and Implant/Surgical Dentistry. He is a member of the AACD, AGD and the Canadian Academy of Restorative Dentists and Prosthodontists. He resides near his practice with his wife and two sons.

Recent Posts

Quick Tip: Words to Use with Patients (and Avoid)

As Dawson-trained dentists, one of things that is most exciting and fun for us is going over specialty treatment. Taking our patients to records and going over the checklists, the photos, and the Wizard, and figuring out a long-term treatment plan for them.

The problem is, that we experience at our office, is getting our patients to records. Some of the terms that we use are confusing and we lose them in the process.

As Dr. Dawson told us, a word such as equilibration is a word we should never use. There are a lot of ways, both Dr. Dawson and the lead faculty communicate to patients in layman's terms to help simplify the process.

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Quick Tip: Incisal Embrasures & Contact Zones

In our smile design process, we have learned from Dr. Dawson how to develop incisal embrasures. And also from Dr. Dawson and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, how to develop the apparent contact zone between teeth.

So between two centrals it should be 50%, a central and lateral, 40%, and a lateral and a canine, 30%.

There are times, though, where, depending on the restorative interfaces, say, for example, two implants, we cannot create an apparent contact zone that falls in those parameters. And if we want to keep the incisal embrasures developed, as Dr. Dawson's taught us, we need to have a long contact zone.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Preventing Black Triangles

One of the things that can negatively affect the result and success of our cosmetic cases is the appearance of black triangles.

There were two landmark studies and papers that were released in '92 by Tarnow, and Garber and Salama in '98 that talked about where to set the contact points depending on the restorative interfaces relative to the bone to prevent black triangles from forming.

Say, for example:

  • Tooth to tooth set at 5 millimeters or less
  • Tooth to implant, four and a half millimeters or less
  • Implant to implant, three and a half millimeters or less.
  • And there are other combinations.

The key is from our end, we have to communicate to the lab and let them know where to set that contact point relative to the margin.

For example, if you're restoring teeth numbers eight and nine and you want to prevent a black triangle from forming between those teeth, you have to let your lab know where to set the contact relative to the margin.

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