One of the most important things that we have learned from Dr. Dawson over the years is the importance of diagnosis. One of my other great mentors, Dr. Henry Gremillion also talked about the 3 most important D's in dentistry: diagnosis, diagnosis, diagnosis.
When we look at photography in our practice, it is perhaps the single most important thing we do these days. When I speak to my patients about it, we are talking about using photography first of all in records, so we know how they are today. It also allows them to see what I can see, because most patients have never seen their mouth the way we see when we examine them.
As we go through our treatment we talk about three different phases.
Phase one is to stabilize the biology, Stage two is to stabilize the occlusion. Then stage three is to do all the sort of final restorations. Now, certainly, getting the biology correct is going to be incredibly important.
When we start our search for an orthodontist, it's important that, actually, it's the right orthodontist. A lot of people will be very willing to work with you, but the biggest challenge is having someone that wants to work on our team and is looking for the same goals as we are.
- First of all, we want to get everything biologically stable.
- Also then, we want to stabilize the occlusion.
- And then we move forward to our final restorations.
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I think it was Clyde Schuyler who said, "Sloppy models is not an indication of sloppy dentistry, it's absolute proof." And that just doesn't go for the model work. I think it goes with everything that we do. It's really about embracing the discipline of what we do.
One of the biggest struggles that our students have, as we go through this curriculum, is how to find centric relation, and certainly when I was training, I had that struggle too.