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The Dawson Difference

Scott Finlay DDSMaking a decision on where you pursue your dental education is an important one. It is a personal decision that will mitigate the choices you will make in your career from this point forward.

One of the earliest lessons that Dr. Dawson taught me was that it was important to become a better dentist first, before promoting the hype and marketing of esthetics. We have all heard the phrase "we don't know what we don't know, until we know it".

Dr. Dawson's concepts of complete dentistry are based in sound diagnosis and time proven treatment planning with the dentist serving as the patient's advocate for their dental health. It's about providing quality care, with a keen eye on responsible esthetics to make recommendations rooted in evidence based protocols that result in predictable, durable and functionally healthy results that create the absolute best esthetics possible. It's about the passion and genuine commitment that the faculty and those who have trained through the Dawson Academy possess, and who have claimed the highest levels of success in dentistry today. I think if you look closely at those enduring leaders in dentistry today, particularly those involved in dental esthetics, you will find that they got their start with Dr. Dawson's teachings.

I was fortunate earlier in my career to learn from Dr. Dawson through programs in the Dawson Curriculum. It provided me the building blocks to provide predictable care and to develop my focus on dental esthetics. This protocol allowed me to evolve and grow, and most importantly measure and evaluate the ever changing trends and materials in dentistry. The discipline and focus to a commitment to a sequence of steps to providing care was the key to my successful accomplishment of being awarded the designation of Accredited Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. I can tell you personally and truthfully that if you choose to seek your professional growth within the Dawson Academy, and you make the commitment to implement the protocols that you will be taught, it will lay seeds for your future success in becoming the "go to dentist" in your area.

The differences in philosophy are well documented in the literature and are beyond the scope of a blog post. What you need to consider in addition however, is the culture of learning that is represented by each organization. The mission of the Dawson Academy is "anchored in integrity, committed to excellence and focused on results". It's not about hype or marketing. It's not about working more hours, or cutting down more teeth. It's not about sales or making money. You need to be able to walk into a restaurant or grocery store near where you practice, without the need to "hide" because of a mouth full of ceramics that you "sold" is not working out. It's about working smarter, because if you implement these techniques you will appreciate rewards beyond your greatest dreams.

You could not have a better start in your new profession than learning with the Dawson Academy, before you get entrapped by short cuts and frustration of wasted time. Let us share with you the things that work predictably in our hands, as well as share those things that we know don't work based on our experiences. One of the most valuable features of the Dawson Faculty is that we each continue to run and work in our own practices. We face the same challenges that you will every day. One day we stood where you stand today.

Dr. Finlay graduated with honors from University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and a GPR program at a Washington DC Area Trauma Hospital. He was Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2007 and received his Fellowship in 2010. He currently serves as an Examiner and was a past elected board member for the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry as well as a Contributing Editor for the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry presenting the Examiner’s Perspective.  Dr. Finlay is a Senior Faculty Member for the Dawson Academy. He teaches contemporary functional concepts related to esthetics and restoring anterior teeth in a “hands on” format. Scott has contributed articles that have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and Vistas. He began his practice in Annapolis, Maryland in 1987 with a special emphasis on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is also the author of the recently revised American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s “Contemporary Concepts in Smile Design” which serves as a basis for the criteria in evaluation and examination in the credentialing process.  Accreditation through the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry has become recognized as the gold standard of dental esthetics. Dr. Finlay is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry, Past President of the Anne Arundel County Dental Society and a founding member of the local Pankey/Dawson Study Club. Dr. Finlay has been presented with 4 gold metals in the AACD annual Smile Gallery. He is perennially voted the Best Cosmetic/Restorative Dentist in both the Greater Annapolis and Baltimore areas by a jury of his peers. He has appeared on Baltimore FOX 45 Morning News and two other health television programs as an expert in dental esthetics. Dr. Finlay also the founder the Cosmetic Dream Team, LLC that locally serves as a community resource in all aspects of esthetics as well as hosting philanthropic events to benefit local charities. Dr. Finlay and his wife, Linda, have one daughter and live in Annapolis, Maryland. He enjoys golfing, skiing and competitive sailing.