Archive for March, 2012

Proposed Changes to Clinical Training in Occlusion

March 9, 2012 16 comments

I’m hoping to discover what it is that people really want to learn and what their aim is when they include our occlusion courses as part of their personal development portfolio.

We have a problem at the moment that I think relates to the fact that, despite some recent updates, SDS have been running what is essentially a 30 year old course, teaching basically the same stuff in the same way for almost all that time. People do seem to enjoy the 2-day POISE introductory course and find it to be a valuable source of new information and skills, but they say they will sign up to attend the next level courses (over 90%) and then when it comes to booking on the next phase it just doesn’t happen – so we have had to cancel every single one of the POS equilibration courses for the last two years in all locations. This is despite fantastic feedback from the earlier POS courses and some very keen dentists who still keep in touch and send me cases to treatment plan, etc. A re-think is definitely needed and the course must change in order to appeal to today’s dentists.

The redesign I am considering is to shift the focus of the course away from pain and headaches to helping dentists solve the problem of how to rebuild the appearance and function of damaged dentitions, whether it be through wear, caries, extraction or whatever combination you care to imagine. Obviously we will still have to look at TMJ health and muscle pain as part of this, it just won’t be the main focus any more.

Want to know how to turn this ...

We used to run introductory 2-day courses, usually at weekends. My idea now is to run 2 x 1-day courses approx a month apart, keep the numbers down to 10-12 delegates and using 5 or 6 surgeries so that everyone can do the clinical stuff in pairs in a more realistic clinical environment so they get a more positive learning experience. The first day would include impression taking, facebow records, centric relation records and anterior deprogrammer construction, fit and adjustment, in addition to all the necessary theory. On the second day, a month later, the delegates would fit lab made stabilisation appliances from their records they had made on the first day, along with more advanced theory stuff and use of articulators by re-mounting the lower cast with a new CR record (after using the anterior deprogrammer for a month) and cast equilibration.

The next stage in this first year course would run in a similar way over 8 more days, a month apart again, but would involve bringing real patients along to be co-diagnosed by the group and treated, first with appliances, then equilibration and/or restoring using reversible means (e.g. direct composites, dentures, long-term appliances, etc.).

... into this, using acrylic and composite?

The following year’s course would move onto permanent restorative/prosthodontic methods, with more patients being treated, staring with anteriors, then, a posterior quadrant, then a full mouth (as currently occurs on the IRS and ARS courses).

There would also be online teaching, reading and practical tasks/projects that would need to be studied between all sessions.

I am in discussions about making the resulting 2 year course a major part of a diploma/MSc course accredited by a UK university (3 or 4 possibilities being considered).

What do you think? Feedback needed fairly urgently please 🙂

Regards, Andy Lane