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Tools for Evaluating Dental Occlusion

evaluating dental occlusionIn my last blog post, I described the use of the T-scan in our office to cure “the Princess and the Pea” –an extremely occlusally aware patient that confounded us with her lack of satisfaction after reconstruction. We found the system equally valuable on the two subsequent patients that we analyzed that day.  

Patient number two has an incredibly strong buccinator and orbicularis oris muscles.  In addition he is heavy salivator, and we had real difficulty keeping the teeth dry. By evaluating his occlusion with T-scan sensor we were able to detect on the computer screen exactly where we needed to adjust even when the teeth were wet and would not mark well with the articulating paper. It was an invaluable help with this equilibration which I had dreaded on this challenging patient.

Patient number three was a female who was new to the practice and had not accepted her proposed treatment plan of an occlusal equilibration and followed by restorative work. By allowing her to see on the computer screen how uneven her bite was, she was able to understand the benefit of the equilibration preceding the dental treatment. She agreed to have the equilibration done the same day and we were able to complete it with incredible precision.

It was easy to see from these experiences how the T-scan could benefit our patients and take our dentistry to a higher level.  I can say with confidence that it can improve the care we deliver, assist in educating patients, increase our productivity, and even increase implant and restorative longevity.  The question I have to ask myself as I ponder investing in this technology is perhaps not “Can I afford to do it?” but “Can I afford not to do it?”

Read Part 1 to this series on Evaluating Dental Occlusion using the T-Scan.

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Dr. Angela Gribble Hedlund completed her undergraduate training at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree. She received her DMD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in Augusta Georgia, and has completed an ADA-accredited program in Advanced General Dentistry at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Hedlund practiced with Goldstein, Garber, & Salama for 16 years, and have recently opened a private practice in North Atlanta. She has practiced dentistry in Atlanta since 1994. Dr. Hedlund has also received extensive training in esthetic dentistry. She has received her certificate in the Postgraduate Program in Esthetic Dentistry from Baylor, as well as completing the Comprehensive Esthetic Restorative Continuum at the same institution. During her postgraduate studies at the Medical College of Georgia, she was awarded the Goldstein Esthetic Dentistry Award, presented yearly to a senior student who has shown exceptional interest and talent in the area of esthetic dentistry. She is an active member in the Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry where she is currently an accreditation candidate. Dr. Hedlund is an active contributor to organized dentistry. This began when she served as the first female president of an MCG dental class, and a representative to the American Student Dental Association executive council. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, the Hinman Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry, where she has completed over 1,500 hours of continuing education in dental studies. She has received her Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry; this is an honor held by fewer than 2% of dentists in the country. In July 2006 she became one of the youngest women ever to receive Mastership in this Academy. Dr. Gribble also is on the dental advisory council for the Christian Medical Dental Assocation. Dr. Gribble has published articles in the Journal of Esthetic Dentistry and the Journal of the American Dental Association. She has served as a contributing editor to the Dental Study Club Journal, which contains reviews from leading clinicians on articles from over seventy-five international dental journals. She also lectures on the subjects of restorative and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Gribble paid for a large portion of her education and received lots of “smile practice” in the Miss America Scholarship programs. She was 2nd runner-up in Miss Augusta in 1991, and 2nd runner-up in Tennessee’s America Junior Miss Pageant in 1985. Dr. Angie Gribble Hedlund enjoys singing, scrapbooking, and is a master scuba diver. She is an active member of the Atlanta Women’s Medical Alliance and Bible Study Fellowship where she serves as the Substitute Teaching Leader for the Norcross Women’s class. She and her husband Richard are members of Roswell United Methodist Church. They volunteer regularly with the children’s program there with their 2 daughters Tori and Lexi.