When and How to Alter Vertical Dimension of Occlusion

Course Description

One of the most important skills a restorative dentist can acquire is to know how and why to change the vertical dimension of occlusion and when it is appropriate to do it. Cases involving extreme wear, occlusal plane problems as well as alterations to the steepness of the anterior guidance are all cases we at The Dawson Academy show, and discuss. Yet the specific details of how to work through a case when all the teeth are prepared can be daunting.

This two day, hands-on on class will take each participant through a step-by-step protocol that will go from preparations to delivery. Special emphasis will be placed on fabricating exquisite provisional prototypes and how they are utilized to communicate precise esthetic and occlusal goals to the dental lab. Bite registrations techniques will be understood, so that the lab will be able to cross mount the die model with the provisional model. Additionally, techniques to provisionally alter the vertical using composite resin and other modalities will be understood so that patients with financial obstacles can be treated appropriately with properly segmented treatment plans. Every participant is invited to bring a complex case to treatment plan, and phase.

Course Size: 20

Learning Objectives

  • Why occlusal wear and erosion need to be addressed, and why the progression of tooth structure loss leads to more complex problems.
  • To learn when it is appropriate to open the vertical dimension of occlusion, and when it should be approached with great caution.
  • How to utilize the Dawson Diagnostic Wizard to communicate precise esthetic and functional tooth contours to the dental laboratory, for the fabrication of an optimal diagnostic wax up.
  • How to transfer the diagnostic wax up into the mouth while creating provisional restorations, and how to efficiently dial these restorations in for optimum esthetics phonetics and function.
  • How to take “verticentric” bite registrations to precisely cross mount the die model with the temp models.
  • Digital technologies that that the lab can utilize to duplicate the doctor and patient approved provisional contours-the key to predictable results.
  • How to open the vertical dimension with multiple “long term provisional” techniques so that complex treatment plans can be phased.
  • To recognize when changing the tooth position with Invisalign or traditional orthodontic treatment, prior to the restorative phase, will improve the predictability of the end result.
  • Why many worn dentition cases will require esthetic crown lengthening, and how to know if gingivectomy or boney recontouring will be the appropriate modality. Special emphasis will be placed on treatment planning the precise position of the gingival contours as well the utilization of laser technology when performing these procedures.

Course Dates

  1. September 28 - September 29

    Chesapeake, VA (Mid Atlantic Center for Advanced Dental Studies))

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Course Information

Class Hours: Day 1 and 2 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tuition: $4,600

Instructor: John Cranham, DDS

CE Credits: 14

Recommended Prerequisite: Functional Occlusion – From TMJ to Smile Design

Target Audience: General Dentists, Specialists, Lab Technicians

What Students Are Saying…

A great introduction to when and how to alter VDO.

Dr. Kristina Staples

Great course to solidify confidence in doing full length arch dentistry.

Jonathan Schutze

Cancellation Policy:

Requests to cancel or transfer registration in a Dawson Academy course, lecture, or event will be accommodated until 60 DAYS PRIOR to start date. Upon request a refund will be provided minus a $100.00 non-refundable deposit, or a one-time course, lecture, or event transfer, which remains valid for 12 months. Less than 60 days prior to course, no refunds or transfers will be issued.

*Students who finance tuition through the Lending Club financing program are subject to special terms and conditions.

Please contact The Dawson Academy at 1.800.952.2178 for full details.


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 15 credit hours continuing education credits.