Digital photography is one of the most important tools you could have in your toolbelt for aesthetic dentistry. If you think about it, an esthetic case starts with a photo and it ends with a photo. But are you taking the proper photos to showcase your work in the best light? There are two common errors that I see with dental photography. First, the picture might be blurry and second, it might be overexposed or washed out.
Let's talk about is centric relation (CR) really a repeatable position? As a matter of fact, one of the greatest benefits of working and restoring a patient in this position is that it is repeatable. It's not only repeatable but it's repeatable within needlepoint accuracy.
Discovering a Bruxer with Tooth Wear
The obvious signs of a bruxer that we see on a daily basis are worn teeth. Aside from that, you can also have teeth that are loose, cracked, breaking, fractured, and also teeth that have abfractions. But most of the time, we see worn teeth and teeth that are worn into the dentin as the bruxism occurs over a period of time.
The most important role of hygienist is actually to be an advocate towards the patient, for the patient but also for the dentist. Our job as a hygienist is to be the bird dog or to find any instability that's going on in the mouth because we're in there so often, every three or six months. If we have really great records, we can keep a running tab on the problems in their mouth or the instabilities.
To ensure that we are providing optimal care, we must perform 3 critical steps to every case: the complete exam, well organized diagnostic records, and a comprehensive treatment plan.
When I ask this question, I am first and foremost trying to gauge the patient's awareness of their condition. You will have some time since you give them their complete exam, so I already have a pretty good idea if it is something like parafunction or occlusal disharmony.
Nearly 40 years ago, I started my career as a dental hygienist for Drs. Pete Dawson and Pete Roach. Now, I currently practice in the office of Dr. Kim Daxon, previously owned by Dr. Dawson and Dr. Pete Roach. To ensure that the doctor’s time with the patient is maximized, I make sure that I look for several things in every hygiene appointment. Having an understanding of complete dentistry is the viewing and understanding the masticatory system (Tempromanidbular joints, muscles, teeth and periodontal structures)as a whole and treating any issues.
Cone beam CT technology is really starting to increase in its utilization within our profession, and it's been steadily increasing over the last decade as the ability to have a CT scan unit in our office is becoming more affordable and more predictable. One of the more common question we get is when should we be utilizing a CT scan?
What things do we look at in the initial exam to determine TMJ health and maybe what do we look at periodically to also assess joint health?
I think the beauty of this whole process is that the complete examination (taught by The Dawson Academy) and the way it is laid out gives us the ability to thoroughly examine our patients and to determine a couple of things.