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.
Great Diagnosis = Great Treatment
If we make a great diagnosis that's really going to help point us at the most appropriate treatment for each aspect of the care that we hope to administer. So we are talking about Complete Care Dentistry. We think about teeth, then we are going to be taking radiographs and assessing the teeth for caries ect. If they have periodontal issues, we need to make a proper assessment, a proper diagnosis of the patient's condition so that we can instigate any treatment that we might require. We always check for cancer, of course; that is incredibly important.
Don't forget to diagnose the smile
And then from esthetic aspects we need to make sure we can make a diagnosis of the smile. So in the same way that the patient wants a beautiful smile, we can try and work out what they would like and where they are now, so that we can move towards what it is that they would like to achieve.
Get a TMJ Occlusal Diagnosis
And then of course, we have what we are probably most familiar with which is our TMJ occlusal diagnosis. So we are going to see where that patient is. We are going to check the joints. We are going to check the muscles, and then we are going to check the teeth for wear, migration, mobility.
Spending the time to properly diagnose will save time in the end
However, we might think that we want to just move on quickly with treatment, but whatever time we spend gathering that information and making that great diagnosis is going to save us time after time when we get further down the line.
It is much, much better to know everything up front, which comes from the proper diagnosis, than it is to try and fix it as it starts to go wrong not just the treatment planning but as we go into that treatment. So the key to this is make a great diagnosis. It is really going to point you with the correct treatment plan and it is going to save you lots of time as you go forward.