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Material selection challenges for a new dentist

A common question we get from new dentists is how do I select the best materials for my patients? As a new dentist in those first few years out of dental school, I think we're often relying upon resources to help us make decisions.


Experience is the best teacher

The challenge is that our resources at that point are pretty much academically based because we don't really have much in the way of anecdotal experience to be able to say, "Well, that's worked in my hands," or maybe, "It hasn't worked in my hands."

dental materialsStick with proven manufacturers

So I think in the decision making, when we're choosing materials to provide restorative solutions for our patients, it's important that we stay with manufacturers and materials that are proven. In other words, materials that are hallmark pieces of what is used in every day practice.

Get advise from technicians

I think you can lean a little more heavily upon our colleagues at the lab bench at the same time because their knowledge and experience of working with other clinicians and effectively using materials predictably can be a help in providing solutions for your patients. I hope you find this helpful.

To learn more about material selection, functional esthetics, and communicating with specialists, register for the course Achieving Predictable Esthetic Results

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Dr. Finlay graduated with honors from University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and a GPR program at a Washington DC Area Trauma Hospital. He was Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2007 and received his Fellowship in 2010. He currently serves as an Examiner and was a past elected board member for the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry as well as a Contributing Editor for the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry presenting the Examiner’s Perspective.  Dr. Finlay is a Senior Faculty Member for the Dawson Academy. He teaches contemporary functional concepts related to esthetics and restoring anterior teeth in a “hands on” format. Scott has contributed articles that have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and Vistas. He began his practice in Annapolis, Maryland in 1987 with a special emphasis on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is also the author of the recently revised American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s “Contemporary Concepts in Smile Design” which serves as a basis for the criteria in evaluation and examination in the credentialing process.  Accreditation through the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry has become recognized as the gold standard of dental esthetics. Dr. Finlay is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry, Past President of the Anne Arundel County Dental Society and a founding member of the local Pankey/Dawson Study Club. Dr. Finlay has been presented with 4 gold metals in the AACD annual Smile Gallery. He is perennially voted the Best Cosmetic/Restorative Dentist in both the Greater Annapolis and Baltimore areas by a jury of his peers. He has appeared on Baltimore FOX 45 Morning News and two other health television programs as an expert in dental esthetics. Dr. Finlay also the founder the Cosmetic Dream Team, LLC that locally serves as a community resource in all aspects of esthetics as well as hosting philanthropic events to benefit local charities. Dr. Finlay and his wife, Linda, have one daughter and live in Annapolis, Maryland. He enjoys golfing, skiing and competitive sailing.