A statement that I heard in my early days of studying occlusion and which helped clarify occlusion’s purpose and my mission was:
“The best dentistry is no dentistry and a good bite”
(I believe this was first coined by Dr L D Pankey but I’ve heard it used from the podium by both Drs. Dawson and Kois.)
Today this statement is part of the philosophy of my practice that has made it so successful, but in my early years I was uncomfortable telling this to patients as it didn’t seem to make sense: why would I, a person making his living by doing dental work, tell patients that no dentistry was the best thing for them?
Yet, when I overcame that discomfort and started telling my patients what I believed, that giving them a bite that was as close to their created/natural bite as we could manage, they saw no conflict. They heard that I was offering them dentistry that would last so that, as long as they did their bit, their time in the dental chair in the future would be minimized. Charming and sensitive as I am (: ) people still don’t desire to spend time beside me in my office (:( .
As a result I confidently look my patients in the eye and tell them how I feel about doing the best dentistry I can deliver for them – so much more satisfying than the repeated patchwork that many of them are used to. It’s also an excellent segue to communicating my passion/belief in what constitutes an excellent bite. Paradox resolved.
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