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Dental CE: Mastering Principles vs. Procedures

dental continuing educationDentists have many continuing education opportunities.  Unfortunately, many programs that concentrate on techniques or materials fail to orient procedures with sound fundamentals that are essential for optimum long-term function and health, or even for best esthetics.

Principles for achieving total masticatory system harmony should dictate every treatment decision.  Selection of materials should not be the guiding determinant of treatment but rather should be chosen based on how they fulfill the basic requirements for clinical success in each specific situation.

Peter E. Dawson, DDS, founder of The Dawson Academy and a leading expert in Complete Dentistry and dental continuing education, observes that although materials and techniques have undergone significant evolutions, underlying and basic principles of the masticatory system remain consistent.  While dentists can now perform restorations that once were thought impossible, function and esthetics tend to suffer when the principles that make dentistry work are not understood and incorporated into treatment planning.

For example, it is not enough to prescribe innovative or durable esthetic materials, such as porcelain laminates and CAD/CAM restorations, to correct worn or decayed teeth. Because the condition of the temporomandibular joints has a profound effect on —the health and stability of the teeth as well as other structures within the masticatory system, long-term durability and function of any restorations will suffer if the requirements of occlusal harmony are not met. If these restorations fail and subsequently require re-treatment, the goal for a conservative approach is lost.  By merely utilizing new materials and techniques without consideration of how they should be integrated into a properly developed occlusion, dentists fall short of the results that could be achieved.

Dental continuing education courses at The Dawson Academy provide a complete educational experience.  Through a focus on the knowledge required for simple to more advanced treatments, programs at The Dawson Academy emphasize a patient's masticatory system, including jaw joints, facial and temporal muscles, and teeth and gingival structures. Only by becoming masticatory system physicians, can dentists properly utilize modern techniques and materials to prevent, detect, and treat tooth diseases, tooth wear, and functional problems in a more individualized and conservative manner.

Mastership of the Concept of Complete Dentistry provides a foundation for skills in sequencing and segmenting treatment plans, thereby ensuring the best oral health for patients. Demonstrating a broad understanding of the importance of principle as a guide to choosing materials or techniques, graduates of The Dawson Academy’s comprehensive curricula demonstrate skills beyond merely choosing advanced materials and applying innovative techniques.