The Dawson Academy Blog

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

Scott Finlay, D.D.S., FAGD, FAACD is a senior faculty member at the Dawson Academy. Dr. Finlay is one of the world’s most recognized dentists in the area of esthetic dentistry, winning several awards from the AACD. He is also a full-time practicing dentist at his practice in Annapolis, MD.

Recent Posts

Are You and Your Lab Technician Speaking the Same Language?

I think one of those essential issues in life for efficiency is communication and communication involves speaking the same language.

When we're dealing with our colleagues on the lab bench for our indirect solutions for our patients, it's obviously essential that we're using the same terminology or nomenclature when we're trying to communicate either revisions in current restorations or anticipations for what we're trying to create for our patients. A nomenclature that has been defined for us by literature that exists and there is a great resource, I think, that we can reach out to, both the clinician and the laboratory technician is the the Criteria Guide produced by the AACD.

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The Golden Rule of Proportion

So as we begin to consider design as it relates to nature, it would be nice if there were some rules or formulas that would allow us to harness the power of what esthetics are all about. That would give us some predictability or a roadmap for our final design. I think it's been the Holy Grail, through mankind, to try to understand what those rules would be.

Fibonacci was a 13th-century mathematician, and he began to observe repeated patterns in nature. And what he tried to create were a series of mathematical logarithms that would give us a mathematical understanding of what esthetics was all about. The Fibonacci sequence was one of those formulas that look specifically at golden proportions.

It was a couple of centuries later that a guy by the name of Leonardo da Vinci came along. And he popularized a sketch called the Vitruvian Man. And it was based upon some work by another Italian engineer and architect, and his name was Vitruvius. And he felt as if the divine proportions seen in man ought to be what is replicated in architecture and design.

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Quick Tip - Creating Beautiful Esthetics

So creating beautiful smiles is really about creating beautiful health.

Our vision when we're trying to create a great looking smile is to design something that's going to be a mirror of the relative health of the system. And I think, as we begin to consider enhancements or changes to someone's smile, we need to think of it in a perspective as a smile designer first, before we're beginning the treatment plan, what the results will be.

And when we begin to consider what components we're going to manipulate in order to try to optimize someone's smiles, we need to consider that with the end in mind, but obviously with an omnipresent understanding of the system at large and how the engineering will be.

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Dawson Quick Tip: 3 Criteria for Selecting Shade for Restorations

Hi. I'm Scott Finley with The Dawson Academy, with a quick tip that will give you something to consider when you're selecting shades for you restorations.

The first thing I'd like you to think about is the management of the light that is in the environment that you're selecting the shade.

The ambient lighting will certainly the wavelength that is then received back to the observers' eyes. So we can determine whether or not the color truly is true, in a full spectrum lighting. 

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Dawson Quick Tip: Elements of a Great Case Presentation

Hi. I'm Scott Finlay with a Dawson Quick Tip on case presentations. When you approach a case and try to educate your patients, there are a couple of things that you may want to consider.

First, you need to find your own voice.

You certainly can glean some pearls from other clinicians in how they present cases. But being true and honest when you present your case to a patient, being their best advocate, is going to help them understand things.

Also, you need to try to simplify things.

We sometimes get in our own way as dentists and get a little over-complicated with our explanations. And if you can boil it down and simplify it for patients, that's very effective. 

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The #1 Step to Improving Your Dental Practice

The following are questions and concerns from a dentist and Dr. Scott Finlay's answers and insight.

Questi on 1: Just because I see it (diagnosis it) doesn't mean my patients will want to treat it (even acute, painful, or blatant problems they are aware o f gets put on the back burner).


Question 2: How much of the first course can I use immediately to make me a b
etter clinician?


Question 3: If I am not able to take all of the courses will I still be better than if I took none of the courses?

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The Dawson Difference

Making a decision on where you pursue your dental education is an important one. It is a personal decision that will mitigate the choices you will make in your career from this point forward.

One of the earliest lessons that Dr. Dawson taught me was that it was important to become a better dentist first, before promoting the hype and marketing of esthetics. We have all heard the phrase "we don't know what we don't know, until we know it".
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