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How to Increase Case Acceptance for Cases of Missing Teeth

In this edition of Increasing Case Acceptance, I want to talk about patients with missing teeth. We all have them. We all have patients in our practice that are missing a molar, and time goes by as the patients wonder whether they should do anything about it. And as you observe the patient over the years, the teeth start shifting in. The upper tooth or the lower tooth start shifting in the space and things start getting off.

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Increase Treatment Acceptance for Missing TeethSo here again, when we are the keepers of the practice it is our responsibility to hold in our mind what optimal oral health is. And part of optimal oral health is having a balanced occlusion, to be able to manage the forces as best as possible. Another very good tool to help with this from a technological standpoint is the T-Scan. We put the T-Scan between the teeth, the patient bites, and it measures force. And you can see from the bars what is coming in first and how much force is on each tooth. It becomes very apparent to a patient when they're missing teeth, that when the teeth aren't there there's no force there at all. And often on either side of the space, you're going to see the majority of the load.

So, have a conversation with patients about this. Help them understand that they are going to have a certain amount of force that is inherent with the muscle activity that they have. The more teeth that they can have naturally or teeth that are missing that can be replaced, the more healthy their mouth is going to be and the more they're going to be able to manage that force through their life. And if they're trying to keep their teeth in health and function for a lifetime, managing forces becomes a huge part of it. So, implement some of those strategies. Talk big picture with your patients. Reiterate thatyou're after optimal oral health and managing force is a big part of it. I think if you do, you're going to have a lot more patients interested in closing those spaces that you see day in and out-- day in and day out as you check hygiene. So, good luck with that.

Why Porcelain Breaks

John C. Cranham, DDS has an esthetic oriented practice in Chesapeake, Virginia. An honors graduate of the Medical College of Virginia in 1988, Dr. Cranham maintains a strong relationship with his alma mater as an Associate Clinical Professor. He is an internationally recognized speaker on the Esthetic Principles of Dentistry, Contemporary Occlusal Concepts, Treatment Planning, Restoration Selection, Digital Photography, Laboratory Communication, and Happiness and Fulfillment in dentistry. As a published author, Dr. Cranham has a strong commitment to developing sound educational programs that exceed the needs of today’s dental professional. He is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, The American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and The American Equilibration Society. Dr. Cranham is co-chair of Advanstar Dental Media’s CE Advisory Board (Advanstar is the publisher of Dental Products Report). Dr. Cranham is the Clinical Director of The Dawson Academy where he is involved with many of the lecture and hands-on courses within the curriculum. As an active educator, he has provided over 650 days of continuing education for dental professionals throughout the world.