How to improve treatment efficiency using predictability

September 18, 2012

Using The Dawson Academy's four-step protocol, even the best clinician's can be better.

Using The Dawson Academy's four-step protocol, even the best clinician's can be better.

The day I stepped out of my residency program, I thought I had it made. I had just completed dental school and had completed an additional year in a hospital residency program to expand my skills. I was convinced I had the most current knowledge available at my disposal to provide my patients with excellent care. What I began to discover, however, was that despite my best efforts, there were still some patients I worked with where things just didn’t go as planned. Crowns seemed to need more adjustments than I anticipated, restorations began to chip, and some teeth just always seemed sensitive. I focused on my techniques and took great pride in my impressions and the fit of my restorations, but my results were not always what I had envisioned. My results were not predictable. That was then.

This is now
I was a few years into my practice when I began to learn about Dr. Peter Dawson and the concept of “complete dentistry.” During my very first program, I began to realize that my shortcomings in treatment results were not about the patient, but about my diagnostic abilities and understanding of the engineering of this very sophisticated system. My professional life was forever changed.

I immediately began to implement a protocol and embrace an understanding of the masticatory system that required me to consider the engineering of the system instead of just trying to fill holes. My efficiency and productivity dramatically increased. Instead of focusing on a single tooth, I began to see the relationships of adjacent and opposing dentition and the evidence-based indications for treatment on a broader scale.

The Dawson Academy teaches a four-step protocol that presents the opportunity for predictability that will ensure your efficiency and profitability. It provides you with options when considering changes to the design of the system in an attempt to correct not only the damage, but also the etiology of the deterioration related to biology, structure, function and esthetics. These four modalities include reshaping, repositioning, restoring and repositioning bone.

Often, as restorative dentists, we attempt to solve problems with our handpiece. This can result in the over preparation of teeth and the irreversible loss of tooth structure. As we explore our options, within these modalities, we are consistently looking for the most conservative means to position and rejuvenate the surfaces of the teeth for durability and health. An often over looked option is limited orthodontics. Although teeth may eventually require restoration, if they can first be repositioned into a better relationship, we can often be far more conservative in our preservation of tooth structure.

In the mastery of this advanced level of treatment planning, we can develop treatment recommendations for our patients that represent the most conservative and predictable choices to obtain their goals. Predictability equates to success for the patient and profitability for the clinician, because of the increased efficiency. Predictability should be the reputation that brands your patient care.