We Don't Know What We Don't Know
Training to become a physician of the masticatory system
When I opened my practice in 2005, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about dentistry. After 5 years of practicing with two very skilled dentists, I started my own fee-for-service practice, which I later merged with that of Karl Glassman, DDS, one of the area's most respected dentists. For 40 years, Dr. Glassman had built his reputation on his ability to get people out of pain by treating their occlusal problems. Up until this point, my understanding of occlusion was limited to adjusting restorations until they felt comfortable or the marks disappeared, whichever came first.
Working with Dr. Glassman was an eye-opening experience. I soon realized that when he retired, I would either need to be able to treat all of his "pain" patients or risk losing them. He told me that The Dawson Academy taught the first course on occlusion that really sparked his interest and suggested I look into its courses for my own continuing education. Even though I thought I understood occlusion, I was sure I could pick up a tip or two that would help me with his patients, so I signed up for Seminar 1.
Seminar 1 was a challenge for me. It was hard to accept what I was hearing because it meant admitting that I wasn't as good as I thought. The problems shown on that big screen could have easily been found in my practice on any given day. By the end of that weekend, I realized I could either ignore what I had just learned or I could trust in the principles of complete dentistry and make some significant changes. For me, the choice was easy; my patients deserved the best I could offer, and that meant making a paradigm shift from being an excellent "tooth mechanic" to becoming a physician of the masticatory system.
I signed up for Seminar 2 and never looked back. It took a few years to complete the curriculum, but with each course, I became more confident in my understanding of occlusion. I started to identify more occlusal disease than I had thought possible. I discovered that there was a whole new world of dentistry in my own practice that I never noticed before.
Now I have a lot of patients who no longer suffer from debilitating headaches. I have patients with a history of class II mobility who now have stable bites and solid teeth. I have changed people's smiles with total control from visualization through porcelain. And when a patient needs a full mouth reconstruction, I know I can diagnose, treatment plan, and deliver the case with confidence. I could not have done that without The Dawson Academy.
About the Author
Ari Forgosh, DMD, is owner of Green Hills Dentistry in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
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