Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Playing with Vertical Dimension? Know the Rules!

October 9, 2011 1 comment

There’s a great position paper on the subject of when, how and by how much it is OK to change the Vertical Dimension of Occlusion (VDO) from M. Rebibo et al of the Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille HERE

There is a discussion of the myths around whether one can or cannot increase or decrease VDO and a very useful chart (Table 2) showing the effect that a change in height at the molars will have on position of the incisors and the incisal pin of the articulator. There are also several very interesting case presentations, including the use of occlusal equilibration alone to close down a significant anterior open bite. Please read the article and comment below if you have any questions of observations.

I might put a few similar cases of my own up if there’s sufficient interest, or if you have some photos and a case report you are prepared to share and have discussed please send them to me and I will publish them on here for you.


Feedback from the POISE Course

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

We get great feedback from our courses, and it’s great to hear how we are changing lives, but here is one that I felt we had to share with you:

I’m amazed what a difference having extra knowledge of occlusion has made. I have treated many hundreds of patients since finishing the course but one in particular jumped out at me. The patient in question has had undiagnosed occlusal problems for years. The SDS questionnaire flagged up the problem. Past dental history revealed a bridge which had failed four times in ten years and numerous broken teeth. On examination he has very large bony exostosis, abfractions, Masseteric hypertorphy and classic violin strings through his Temporalis which were excrutiating to touch. Absolute barn door case, straight out of the notes. Amazingly he’s been a patient at the practice for 20 years and it had never been picked up. As you said on the course, you can only see what you know. After a stabilization splint and a decent bridge made in CR he’s got no pain and is pleased as punch with me as a dentist. He is a GMP for a living and values the holistic approach that we’ve taken to his treatment. He has since recommended other patients to the practice.

It frustrates me that there is such a big black whole in undergraduate occlusion teaching. I now don’t like looking at work that I’ve done before the course as I can see my own mistakes even though I considered myself a good dentist. I have older dentists who’ve been qualified for years telling me that occlusion is a waste of time. I truly believe it is not and am very grateful to you and Higgy for changing my career. CM

If you’d like to change your career in a similar way please book on our next POISE course, 12th/13th November 2012 at ACE in Wakefield, you won’t regret it! Call Jemma on 01457 821800 or email:

3D Head and Neck Anatomy for Dentistry – special promotion price

May 28, 2010 1 comment

3D Anatomy DVDHiggy and I are very impressed with the dissections and animations in this excellent package – so much so that we now recommend all our delegates to buy a copy, no matter what level you have reached. Even if you think you understand everything in this DVD we can assure you that you will learn a great deal from it, and you will have a very valuable tool for communicating with your patients.

We really wish we had had this sort of educational software available when we were trying to learn these complex, three-dimensional, anatomic relationships.

You can get a special discount of £20 if you enter “SDS” as the promotional code when you go to buy.

Link to the product is here. Read more…

Correlation between Stress and Sleep Bruxism

March 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Correlation between stress, stress-coping and current sleep bruxism

M Giraki, C Schneider, R Schäfer, P Singh, M Franz, W Raab, and M Ommerborn

Head Face Med. 2010; 6: 2.

BBMD Appliance

BBMD device worn by subjects during the experiment

This interesting paper, just published online in the Head & Face Medicine journal, studies the relationship between stress and sleep bruxism.

We are, I’m sure, all fairly confident in this association, based on our clinical experience. There is, however, still a lack of decent evidence for a causal relationship between stress and sleep bruxism.

This paper does add another level of confidence in that association, but the authors still fall short of claiming that this is evidence of a direct causal relationship. It’s worth a read though and may be useful for those of you who see patients on referral from GPs, neurologists, etc.- download the full article free here:

3D Head and Neck Anatomy for Dentistry DVD-ROM

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

oral cavity illustration

I’ve only just installed this new DVD-ROM on my iMac, but I can already tell you it’s the new “must have” for all dentists, especially anyone with an interest in the anatomy and function of the muscles of mastication and the TMJs.

The impressive roll call of authors includes Prof Patricia Reynolds, Director of Flexible Learning at King’s Dental Institute, along with Barry Berkovitz and Bernie Moxham, who had the difficult task of teaching me 2nd BDS anatomy and physiology in the 1970s at Bristol Dental School. They have also published a number of beautifully illustrated and very popular dental anatomy and physiology text books over the years.

Here’s the link to the web site:

Priced at £180 this is something of a bargain for a very comprehensive DVD-ROM (PC and Mac compatible) of this quality. I can’t begin to imagine the number of potential uses there are for this product, but it will be invaluable not only for dentists’ own education, and also a great aid to communicating with dental nurses, hygienists and, most importantly perhaps, patients.

Roy and I use many of the animations  already in our lectures, but there are some new ones included here that will make to job of explaining the anatomy and function of the masticatory system considerably easier in the future. What will be particularly invaluable though will be the chance for our delegates to review what they have learned back at home or in the practice.

“Orofacial Pain” by Joanna M. Zakrzewska (Editor)

March 3, 2010 2 comments

Orofacial Pain CoverI hope to bring you a full review of this book when I’ve finished reading it, but it looks a very good read and an essential reference for anyone involved in the diagnosis and management of orofacial pain. It’s a comprehensive and timely review of the current state of play in this field, written from a British perspective (for once!) but with an internationally renowned group of contributors from Sweden, Australia, Canada and the USA.

You’ll find it here on Amazon
Orofacial Pain

I got my copy for about £26 delivered, so you couldn’t say it was expensive for the type of book it is.

Well worth considering IMHO – in-depth review to follow.

Chapter Headings:

  1. Epidemiology of orofacial pain
  2. History and examination
  3. Investigations
  4. Classification and diagnosis of orofacial pain
  5. Overall management of facial pain
  6. Dental causes of facial pain
  7. Burning mouth syndrome (BMS)
  8. Persistent idiopathic facial pain (atypical facial pain)
  9. Temporomandibular disorders
  10. Trigeminal neuralgia
  11. Neuropathic pain
  12. Trigeminal autonomic cephalgias
  13. Orofacial pain disorders – linking phenotype to genotype
  14. Appendix