How to use splints in your treatment plan

Hi, everybody. My name’s Dr. Leonard Hess. I’m one of the senior faculty members here at the Dawson Academy, and I’d like to spend a few minutes talking with you about where splints, or occlusal splints, work into a treatment plan when we’re talking about doing larger or more complicated treatment plans. Let’s really take […]

Doppler Auscultation in Dental Treatment Planning

One of our most important decisions in our dental treatment planning process is the treatment position of the TMJ. An easy and effective adjunctive screening tool for TMJ Health is Doppler Auscultation. Listening to our patient’s joints is an important step in the TMJ-Occlusal Exam process. The use of a Doppler in dentistry was developed […]

Range of Motion Scale: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

A key element of the Complete Exam and Treatment Planning process is determining the health of the TM Joint. The components of the TMJ-Occlusal exam are: History Range of Motion Test Muscle Palpation Centric Relation Load Test Doppler Auscultation Determining signs of occlusal instability Imaging, if indicated

A Brief Review of a Healthy Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

Inspiration for this article: Recently we received the following comment on the blog article, “The Importance of Load Testing” by Dr. Leonard Hess.  Comment: I am a past attendee of the Pankey and Dawson curriculums ( long ago in the 1980’s) and am flabbergasted that you still preach this anachronistic content which has long been […]

How to Treat Unstable or Uncomfortable TMJs

When dealing with a symptomatic or a suspected TMD patient, we want to follow a series of protocols, no different, really, than we deal with most of our patients.

Test Your TMD Knowledge

Can you distinguish between Occluso-Muscle Disorders, Intracapsular Disorders and Orofacial Pain Related Disorders? How about what type of splint therapy is appropriate for each scenario? Test your skills in our short TMD Quiz and find out! Example Question: A 32-year-old male patient with good oral hygiene presents for a consultation after having the 6th filling […]

How to differentiate between a joint derangement and muscle problem

So when you’re trying to decide if your patients have an internal derangement or an occlusal muscle problem, how do we go about doing that? First part is the screening questions you ask before you start to testing.

Dentists: Why should you load test the TMJ’s?

Properly loading the joints tells you several things about the root cause of some patients’ problems. This will also determine how functionally stable the patients is. Let’s start with the first item.
Open-Close-Positioning-Muscles-Frame. muscles on skeleton

Why the uppermost position is physiologically correct

Why is the physiologically correct position in centric relation the most superior position in the joint space itself? Now, if you’re like me and you went through dental school earlier, maybe 20 years ago, you were probably taught that centric relation was actually a distalized position of the condyles. It was a very frustrating experience […]

Why am I experiencing clinical failure?

If we’ve been practicing for any length of time at all, we’re going to see some clinical failures. I think sometimes the perception is if we’re faculty at The Dawson Academy, that it never happens, and you should know that we all see clinical failures. We just want to limit them as much as possible, […]