Anterior Guidance: Myth or Mandatory?

What you will learn

One of Dr. Dawson’s primary recommendations is to be able to explain/teach another dentist our occlusal philosophy. Nothing seems to confuse people more than the nuances of an optimal anterior guidance. In this program the specifics of how The Dawson Academy views an optimized Anterior Guidance will be explored. The participant will be able to defend the Dawson approach as well and describe where other occlusal philosophies fall short.

Meeting Goals/Objectives

  • To gain a much deeper understanding of nuances of a correct anterior guidance.
  • To follow Dr. Dawson’s recommendation of being able to “explain” the objectives and the reasons for a correct anterior guidance to anyone who may doubt its importance.
  • To gain a solid understanding of how other occlusal philosophies look at anterior guidance, and how their goals differ from ours.

Pre-Meeting Prep

  1. Review chapter 17 in “Functional Occlusion From TMJ to Smile Design” by Pete Dawson.
  2. Read the article: “Anterior Guidance: Myth or Mandatory” by John Cranham originally published in Inside Dentistry, February, 2015, Volume 11, Issue. The article can be found at: 
  3. Read the article, “The Myth of Anterior Guidance” originally published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Fall, 2012, Volume 28, Issue 3. The article can be found at: Professionals/jCD/Vol.28/Issue 3/28-3_bakeman.pdf
  4. Bring a case(s) involving anterior guidance to share with the group for discussion or treatment planning help.

Meeting Schedule

  1. Break into groups of 3 or 4 and answering the following questions:
    a) As a group discuss the two criteria that MUST be accomplished when creating a correct anterior guidance.
    b) Discuss how other occlusal philosophies may differ from our view point, and discuss strategies for communicating your view point more clearly.
    c) Discuss how the Kois philosophy differs from ours, and why we feel they may be missing an important aspect of creating an ideal anterior guidance.
  2. Show Video
  3. Discuss Points/Questions below

Anterior Guidance: Myth or Mandatory?

Discussion Points/Questions

  1. As a group, refer to the article “Anterior Guidance: Myth or Mandatory” listed in the pre-meeting preparation and:
    a.) Discuss the “pearls” learned in this session.
    b.) Have each person list the 2 primary objectives when creating an ideal anterior guidance, then share with the group. The instructor will then share the two primary objectives from the article if the group has an incorrect answer.
    c.) Discuss strategies of “debating/discussing” our view point with dentists with other occlusal philosophies, and specialists (orthodontists) so that they can appreciate your/our fundamental goals.
    d.) Take 10 minutes and list a few things you are going to start doing and a few things that you will start doing based on this information.

CE Codes Breakdown

  • CE Credits Awarded: 2
  • COURSE SUBJECT CODES & HOURS: #200 (1L), #730 (1L)
    (L) Lecture
    (P) Participation/Discussion/Hands-On


The Dawson Academy is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. The Dawson Academy designates this activity for 2 continuing education credits. 

Course creation date: 26January2017
Expiration date: 26January2020


John Cranham, DDS
Clinical Director
The Dawson Academy