Dentaltown June 2021 - 49

Making occlusion easier
(but still not " easy " )
My entire life, I have been obsessed with
answering one single question: How do I fix
this? And although this is not a psychology
journal, it's important for us to realize that
our identity-who we believe we are-is
what makes us do specific things, say certain
words and behave in a consistent manner.
If you only know what you know and don't
learn or open yourself up to new possibilities
and new information, then you'll never grow
into the ultimate version of who you could
be. But what if you could be something
more? What if you could become known
for something greater? That's where true
passion comes from. And my contribution
here is to add simplicity to a complicated
field of dentistry.
Dentistry has been my profession for
more than 25 years. But my passion took
me in a specific direction: the chronic pain
patient. Combining my passion with my
obsession to fix this became a journey of
learning, comparing and tweaking everything
I learned so that I could not only apply it
in my practice but also make it less complicated.
So I took the concepts I learned,
reduced them to their basic components,
then simplified the process until it became
a simple system I'm going to show here.
Right off the bat: These cases are not
" simple. " Chronic pain patients are the most
challenging, difficult and unmanageable
patients we see and the dentistry involved
to restore them can often seem extreme.
But if you can go into these cases like I
do-slowly, gently and reversibly until
you are absolutely certain that you can
help them-then I bet you will not only fix
most of them and resolve their symptoms,
you will also become known for doing
something unique and those patients will
be eternally grateful.
Challenge 1: Porcelain veneers versus
resin. I was going to talk to Lorraine about
porcelain veneers as opposed to resin and
the difference in cost. She told me what she
had budgeted, and veneers would be triple
the amount she had in mind.
dentaltown.com \\ JUNE 2021 49
Challenge 2: Number of teeth. Lorraine
had eight teeth with " bonding " on them, so
she assumed we'd be talking about doing
eight of something, whether resin or porcelain.
But her buccal corridor spaces were dark
and suggested narrowed arches, and when
I brought that up, Lorraine said she had
always wanted a " wider " smile.
The big challenge: Retruded and
overclosed. Lorraine looked retruded and
overclosed, so I started to ask her about
headaches, jaw issues and chronic pain. As
we talked, she revealed that she had been
in severe pain her whole life. She had all the
signs and symptoms of TMD and had been
to multiple doctors, pain clinics, alternative
medicine practitioners, massage therapists,
chiropractors, osteopaths ... you name it.
She told me she had just finished orthodontics
and was not interested in more.
She also did not want surgery, but when I
suggested I could help her with her chronic
pain in addition to doing her veneers, she
didn't know whether to talk about it or not
because she had lost hope. So where do you
go from here?
Sometimes our patients come in with
one thing and we see another. And because
this is not an article about the specifics of
presenting cases to patients to maximize the
Fig. 4
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
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Dentaltown June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown June 2021

Dentaltown June 2021 - Intro
Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover1
Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover2
Dentaltown June 2021 - 1
Dentaltown June 2021 - 2
Dentaltown June 2021 - 3
Dentaltown June 2021 - 4
Dentaltown June 2021 - 5
Dentaltown June 2021 - 6
Dentaltown June 2021 - 7
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Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover3
Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover4
Dentaltown June 2021 - Outsert_1
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Dentaltown June 2021 - Outsert_3
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