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The Dawson Difference

Scott Finlay DDSMaking 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".

Dr. Dawson's concepts of complete dentistry are based in sound diagnosis and time proven treatment planning with the dentist serving as the patient's advocate for their dental health. It's about providing quality care, with a keen eye on responsible esthetics to make recommendations rooted in evidence based protocols that result in predictable, durable and functionally healthy results that create the absolute best esthetics possible. It's about the passion and genuine commitment that the faculty and those who have trained through the Dawson Academy possess, and who have claimed the highest levels of success in dentistry today. I think if you look closely at those enduring leaders in dentistry today, particularly those involved in dental esthetics, you will find that they got their start with Dr. Dawson's teachings.

I was fortunate earlier in my career to learn from Dr. Dawson through programs in the Dawson Curriculum. It provided me the building blocks to provide predictable care and to develop my focus on dental esthetics. This protocol allowed me to evolve and grow, and most importantly measure and evaluate the ever changing trends and materials in dentistry. The discipline and focus to a commitment to a sequence of steps to providing care was the key to my successful accomplishment of being awarded the designation of Accredited Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. I can tell you personally and truthfully that if you choose to seek your professional growth within the Dawson Academy, and you make the commitment to implement the protocols that you will be taught, it will lay seeds for your future success in becoming the "go to dentist" in your area.

The differences in philosophy are well documented in the literature and are beyond the scope of a blog post. What you need to consider in addition however, is the culture of learning that is represented by each organization. The mission of the Dawson Academy is "anchored in integrity, committed to excellence and focused on results". It's not about hype or marketing. It's not about working more hours, or cutting down more teeth. It's not about sales or making money. You need to be able to walk into a restaurant or grocery store near where you practice, without the need to "hide" because of a mouth full of ceramics that you "sold" is not working out. It's about working smarter, because if you implement these techniques you will appreciate rewards beyond your greatest dreams.

You could not have a better start in your new profession than learning with the Dawson Academy, before you get entrapped by short cuts and frustration of wasted time. Let us share with you the things that work predictably in our hands, as well as share those things that we know don't work based on our experiences. One of the most valuable features of the Dawson Faculty is that we each continue to run and work in our own practices. We face the same challenges that you will every day. One day we stood where you stand today.

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.