I normally only post Monday through Friday, but didn’t want to miss the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I will spend the holiday weekend putting away my Christmas decorations until next year and reflecting on 2011. It was a year of big changes for me, the right changes and I am exactly where I had hoped to be as the year ends. I started the year as the Clinical Director of Spear Education and I am ending it as the CEO of my own education company and a practicing dentist again. The blog has been an incredible creative outlet. The reward of hearing when something makes a difference in someone’s practice, for them or their patients always bring a smile to my face. I am back in full swing traveling and teaching, and 2012 will see the launch of my own courses beginning with the first online seminar on Occlusal Diagnosis.
The most viewed post of 2011 was “The Patient’s Crown or Temp is Out After Hours” from November 23. The news is out now on how to help patient’s recement their own crown or temporary after hours. This post looked at a technique I learned during a weekend study club meeting in Asheville, NC. I have been a member of this small group for over five years, and one of the best things is sharing with one another the things we do to elevate the level of patient care we provide, and have dentistry be profitable and fulfilling. At the last meeting one of the ideas that came up was my dear friend and our facilitator, Dr. Buzz Raymond, from Golden Valley, MN. He shared with us that he has his patients recement their own restorations with Elmer’s glue. When I first heard it it sounded way too simple to possibly work. I came home and tried it for a few weeks before publishing the post. Like all of us I get patient calls after hours when folks have a crown or temp out. It worked so well I wrote the post to share this gem with everyone else.
Continuing towards the most popular post of 2011, coming in at #2 was “The Starburst Bevel on Anterior Composites”, published on December 6. I wrote this post after having the privilege to hear Dr, Brian LeSage lecture on anterior composite techniques. He presented a unique way to create a bevel on the labial margins of a preparation for composite. The design is intended to fool the eye and have the margin completely disappear. This “trick” comes from what we know about our visual perception of restorative materials and teeth. Our eye uses the amount of reflected light to make assessments about shade components light, value, hue and chroma. A butt joint margin, even when the “shade” has been selected perfectly is difficult if not impossible to hide. This is because composite (porcelain) and tooth structure have different light properties. The restorative material absorbs or reflects light differently than the enamel over dentin that comprises the tooth. This difference is detected by the eye and we can “see” the margin.
As we continue our countdown to 2012, the third most viewed post this year was entitled ” Caries Detection Dye” from November 15. The use of caries detection dye is very common in dentistry, and I for one depended on it giving me accurate information that allowed me to treat my patients with exceptional care. In the post I shared my surprise when I learned that the dye does not specifically target caries. The mechanism of action creates the possibility of a false positive as the depth of the prep approaches the pulp. This false positive along with the research showing that tactile caries detection within the body of the prep is more accurate than the dye has resulted in my removing it from my protocol.
As we continue our countdown of the most popular posts in 2011 #4 is “Post & Core’s Coming Loose”. This post looked at the factors that create retention when we restore a severely compromised tooth following endodontic therapy. We often hear conversations about the length and diameter of the post. In addition the conversation about how the post is cemented or bonded is a valid one when we look at longevity of the restoration. Lastly an important factor is to understand and control ( if possible) the amount of force the final restoration will be subjected to. The main idea of the post was understanding how the amount of remaining tooth structure, in more than one dimension, ferrule, affects survival of the restoration.
This is the last week of 2011 and the blog is now over six months old. It has been a true joy to write the posts, and is one of my greatest learning endeavors as I strive to share information that has value each and every day as we practice dentistry. I thought it appropriate to look back over the last six months of posts and see what were the most popular. These trends on what posts were viewed the most, shared most often of social networking sites, and generated the most comments will focus my energy in the coming months as I look for new content. If you have topic areas you would like to see more focus on I want to hear them, so reach out to me on via social media or leave a comment here as I read every one. This week I will be looking at the top five most viewed posts and anything new I can add to that content.
I’m spending today, in typical fashion, doing last-minute shopping. Fighting the crowds to find just the perfect gift is part of our holiday tradition. We will then return home to wrap things so the very next day everyone can tear the paper off with glee. It’s comforting to me following these routines that have happened holiday after holiday for as long as I can remember. One of the things I have enjoyed this season is spending time with my patients having them share with me a special holiday tradition. It has been magical to watch a misty look come across folks faces, and a slight upturn of the corner of their lips as they recall with warmth something that has deep meaning to them and their families.
I am fortunate yet again this year to have my mom and dad with us for the holidays. We will celebrate Christmas eve with a prime rib dinner and opening one present before going to bed. It will be interesting this year to see if Kyle, my youngest, has crossed the threshold of sleeping in being more important than doing presents at the crack of dawn. I’m hoping he wakes us again this year at sun up and I have one more year to whine and complain about being tired, but smile inwardly at his youthful enthusiasm.
Once all the presents have been opened and the wrapping paper cleaned up we will get ready and head over to the DeWoods house to share Christmas dinner. It is their turn to host, but we have promised to bring Kelly’s famous cauliflower Au Gratin to do our part. It will be a fabulous day surrounded by friends and family, and filled with love and appreciation. Whatever your traditions, have a very special holiday!
Veneers are a conservative way to offer patients exquisite esthetics. Keeping veneer provisionals in place is one of the challenges to achieving these results. It seems like either they are constantly coming off to the point that both I and my patients are frustrated. Alternatively if the patient comes in for the seat appointment and the veneer provisionals have been in place since the preparation I wonder how much work it will be to remove them. For years I searched fort a technique that would allow the provisionals to stay in reliably and come off easily for the seat appointment.
A question that is becoming more and more common when I talk to dentists is ” How can I use social media to market my dental practice?” I decided to go to an expert for the answer and called my friend Bartley Stratton. Bartley is the President and founder of Yodel Networking. She specializes in helping companies grown their business via social networking strategies. I asked Bartley to share with us what she suggests for dentists who want to get started in social media, here is her answer:
It is crucial to map out your specific business goals before embarking on a social media program. “I think it’s safe to say that companies making investments in better connecting with their customers now, will have a distinct advantage over those that are resolved to wait and see with this social web thing.” Lee Odden, toprankblog.com
One of my personal goals as a photographer is to take pictures of a high enough quality that I never open one on my computer and find it unusable. Whether for diagnostic purposes or as part of a patient presentation the exposure is a critical factor in the accuracy of a photograph. A critical factor in taking good photographs is displaying the histogram and being able to interpret what it is communicating about the exposure of the image. Different camera systems allow you to display the histogram along with the image on the back of the camera. Your owner’s manual or quick start guide should show you how to have the histogram display.