The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

Dawson Quick Tip: Explaining the Aspects of the Complete Exam to Patients

I explain the complete exam to the patient only after the preclinical interview. I interview the patient, ask them while they're here what they're looking for from me. And then from there, I simply tell them that I need to gather more information and records. And I explain to them all what we're doing. Checking their teeth out, periodontal health, but also we're going to look at their joints and their muscles.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Most Powerful Word in Pre-Clinical Exam



One thing that it took me a while to learn as a young dentist was how to handle a patient in a new patient exam. And specifically how to not answer questions, but to ask questions.

Someone a lot more intelligent than me once said, "The most powerful word in the English language has three letters, and that is, ask." So to ask questions, to ask for information.

There's a couple of questions I love asking in the pre-clinical exam.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Creating Great Bite Records in Centric Relation

When you're taking your bite record in centric relation, first of all you want to make sure that the wax is heated thoroughly.

Second of all is, after you've taken the wax out after you've manipulated the patient into the wax, and you're ready to trim it, what I like to do is create a soft line first through the buccal cusp tips, then go back through and go ahead and cut the wax all the way through.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Identifying Specialty Patients

My quick tip today is on general versus specialty patients.

A general patient is defined as...

a patient where the size, contour, and position of the teeth are working for the patient. There's no instability, no signs of wear, no discomfort.

A specialty patient is...

a patient where the size, contour, and position of the teeth are not working for the patient. They have worn teeth, muscle pain, joint pain, and just general discomfort - headaches, things like that.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Getting Patients to Ask for Solutions

The complete examination is probably one of the most important things you can do as we go through this process of complete dentistry. It's where you're going to make all the treatment decisions from, it's where we're going to identify what the problems are, whether they're functional, bacterial, or aesthetic.

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