The Dawson Academy Blog

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

Recent Posts

How can the position of teeth affect function?

How can the position of teeth affect function? I almost want to approach that backwards and say, "How can the position of teeth NOT affect function?"

The position of teeth is important for speaking and for enunciating sounds like our S sounds or F sounds.

The incisal edge determines how we enunciate. The incisal edge position dictates where the teeth hit on the lower lip so we can enunciate an F sound properly. If the teeth are too far apart or bumping into each other, you cannot make the F or S sounds properly, like the little kid who's lost his front teeth and wants them for Christmas. The position of the teeth affect not only our speaking, but it affects how we chew.

The position of teeth affects how we swallow and breathe.

The position of the teeth erupt into the mouth in the neutral zone, in the corridor that is dictated by the inward and outward functions of the muscles and the tongue.

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Test Your TMD Knowledge

 
 
How about what type of splint therapy is appropriate for each scenario?
 
Test your skills in our short TMD Quiz and find out!

Example Question:

A 32-year-old male patient with good oral hygiene presents for a consultation after having the 6th filling at the gum line placed in 2 years by another dental office, and losing confidence in their skills of diagnosing what has been occurring.
 
Exam reveals negative load testing, muscle tenderness of deep masseters and pterygoids bilaterally, multiple NCCLs (non-carious cervical lesions, several having been restored with composite resin), group function occlusion with balancing interferences and tension headaches in the morning.
 
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Proper Techniques When Load Testing

Load testing is a crucial part of our complete examinations. I approach my patients the way that Dr. Dawson taught us.

Romance the mandible.

So to get to be able to romance the mandible, I relax my patient. I have them lean back. I talk in a very soft voice and I ask them to pretend like they're falling asleep, watching TV, with their mouth open. This gets me half of the way there.

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How to Get Patient Buy-In

Getting patients to own their own problems can be very challenging.

I find that in my office what has worked best for me is showing them photographs.

When I show photographs of the patient, I let them ingest what they are seeing on a photograph for maybe a few seconds before I start talking about what I am seeing. And sometimes I will actually ask them what they are seeing.

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How to Finalize an Occlusal Equilibration

Equilibration is one of the most fun and valuable procedures I can do in my office for my patients. I tell my staff all the time that if you want to have me as happy as I can be, fill the day with equilibrations. But finalizing an equilibration is also very crucial.

It can take a little bit of time to do. But most of the time, I will set aside about an hour to hour and a half for my equilibration, and I follow that up about 2 weeks later with a 1/2 hour appointment and then another 2 weeks later, if necessary, for about a 15 to 20 minute appointment.

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Tips for Training Your Front Desk on Complete Dentistry

Training your front desk on complete dentistry is vital to making complete dentistry work in your office. It is maybe not so practical for us to bring all of our teams and our staff to every single talk and course that we take. However, if you can come back and have an office meeting after the courses, even for maybe a 1/2 an hour, reviewing the general principles of what we have been taught at The Dawson Academy, I think that will go a long way with your front desk understanding why we are doing what we are doing.

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Dawson Quick Tip: Would I Do It On Me?

WIDIOM is the Dawson Academy acronym for Would I Do It On Me.

I think of it kind of like the modern-day golden rule. It's how I live my life. It's how I treat my patients. It's how I treat my family. I think about every single thing that I do with the idea of, is this what I would want somebody else to be doing or suggesting to me?

Transcript Continued Below...

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