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Dentistry Challenges Around the Globe

Dental Courses WorldwideWithin the last two weeks, we have had dentists from Japan, Russia, Sweden, Denmark and Australia attend The Dawson Academy's Dental Classes.  When talking about the challenges they face, the answers are remarkably the same, regardless of the country.  And the challenges identified are those we most often hear from dentists in the United States.

Most Common Dental Challenge

The most often cited challenge is the lack of practical knowledge of occlusion.  And, worldwide, as the demand for anterior esthetic dentistry has increased, the failures resulting from this lack of knowledge have increased.  Dr. Alexey Goncharov, from Russia, commented that he sees too many cases of broken and chipped veneers resulting from violations of the ten factors of occlusion.   He also expressed the difficulty in finding orthodontists and laboratory technicians to work with who understand and practice in centric relation.  Fortunately, his Orthodontist, Dr. Evgeny Zubrilin attended the classes with him, which they both felt was extremely beneficial.

Dr. Naoki Hatano and Dr. Eili Kurisaki attended Treatment Planning, their third Dawson Academy Dental Course, in Virginia.  They also cited the lack of understanding of occlusion and centric relation as major problems in Japanese dentistry.  Dr. Hatano is a well-respected implantologist who teaches and publishes extensively.  He sought out The Dawson Academy because of our reputation for teaching occlusion and function.  He said he wanted to come to learn from Dr. Dawson and his team, rather than someone who had studied with Dr. Dawson, but did not teach or practice with him.  Dr. Hatano is so concerned about the lack of understanding of occlusion in Japan that he has committed his teaching facility to be the home of The Dawson Academy Japan, where courses will begin in May 2013.

Economic Effects on Dentistry

Dentists from all five countries reported a slow down in elective dentistry in the last few years due to the economy.  Interestingly, frustrations of practicing within the limitations of a national health system paralleled the frustrations U. S. dentists express regarding dental insurance.  It seems that whenever a third party controls the treatment that can be performed and at what price, it interferes with the dentist-patient relationship.  More and more, dentists are opting out of national healthcare and electing to practice fee-for -service dentistry in order to provide complete care for their patients. This is more difficult in some countries than others, but presents the same challenges dentists in the US express when working to eliminate insurance from their practices.

Patient Acceptance

Finally, regardless of the country or the language, all these dentists asked, “How do I get my patients to accept this treatment, especially when I have been seeing them for years and never told them about the problems I now see and understand?”  In any language, the answer is to be sure the patient sees and UNDERSTANDS every problem you see when conducting a complete exam, the implications of each problem and the solution to the cause of the problem.  Only when a patient accepts the problem as his and knows what will likely happen if not corrected, will he or she accept the treatment plan presented.

Prior to joining the Academy, she was founder and President of Prime Performance, a training and consulting company specializing in developing self-directed work teams and facilitative leadership. Joan’s career has also included management positions with AT&T and United Technologies. Joan received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Interdisciplinary Studies and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Joan is a past recipient of the Outstanding Female Leadership Award from the University of Florida and is a member of the University’s Hall of Fame.