Exploring occlusion with Dr Kois – The BACD (British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) Annual Conference

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  Posted by: Dental Design      2nd January 2019

The BACD (British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) Annual Conference proved to be a resounding success with dental professionals from all over the UK and abroad. The sold-out event provided the ideal stage for world-class speaker, Dr John Kois, to lead an insightful lecture entitled, “Functional Occlusion: Current Challenges”. The theatre for Dr Kois’ presentation was packed full of delegates who were keen to find out how occlusion plays an important role in determining the long-term success of restorative dentistry.

Renowned for mastering a whole range of dental disciplines, Dr Kois maintains private practices limited to prosthodontics in Tacoma and Seattle. He is also the founder and director of the Kois Centre, which has grown to become one of the world’s most prestigious institutions, dedicated to delivering a didactic and clinical teaching programme for aspiring practitioners.

Boasting years of expert knowledge and experience, Dr Kois was ideally placed to offer his professional insight to a captivated audience. As one of the most engaging presenters of the Conference, Dr Kois used a variety of real-world analogies to inform his lecture.

“Occlusion and occlusal function has always proved to be a difficult topic within the dental profession,” said Dr Kois. “This is because we, as practitioners, have learned how to avoid problems by ensuring single unit crowns ‘do not touch too much’, which is a risk management solution that works. However, this is not a concept that works occlusally in more involved cases, because the requirement is that teeth need to touch ‘just right’. In reality, this is actually more difficult to achieve.

“Our knowledge about occlusion has been based on gnathologic principles. These concepts are the basis of a mechanical system with focus on posterior determinants and mutual protection. If it is that simple, why can’t we predict when or why occlusal pathology develops and why can’t we always create a therapeutic occlusion?”

To help delegates make sense of the complex topic of occlusion, Dr Kois looked at how practitioners could implement a specific risk assessment strategy in order to carry out treatment safely and ensure its success. He explained how different types of articulation paper and the latest digital scanning technology could be used in combination as highly effective diagnostic tools. Dr Kois also explored the advantages of using advanced scanners to record and store quantifiable data about a patient’s dental history.

“Dentists need to change the way they think about occlusion and start asking questions about why a patient is experiencing a particular problem – good questions inform, but great questions transform,” said Dr Kois. “During case examinations, look at possible environmental factors, as it may not always be the case that the patient is experiencing an occlusal-based problem. It is no longer enough to just do an eye-based analysis – we need to collect substantial data to be able to make comparisons. However, it’s important to remember that digital technology does not always replace paper as the sole method of collecting data.”

Dr Kois went on to explain that historical data, in particular, can be used as compelling information for patients, who often deny treatment because they do not always understand what dentists are trying to achieve.

“Whether practitioners have a photograph, a traditional impression, or a scan of a patient’s teeth, they have the data to show someone how their teeth have changed over time – thus increasing the likelihood of treatment acceptance,” Dr Kois added. “I do not approve of the Forrest Gump approach to dentistry. ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get’: This is not true within dentistry, particularly if clinicians utilise the data they collect to their advantage. This will enable dentists to ensure restored teeth are in occlusion and, therefore, do not break and remain stable over time.”

Throughout his presentation, Dr Kois was a strong advocate of the BACD, as he said: “It’s important to focus on the details of restorative dentistry – it is not meant to be competitive but enable you to better yourself, which is a big tribute to what the BACD has accomplished as an organisation. Aristotle famously said, ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is not education at all’, and it’s clear that the BACD has a lot of heart.”

Many delegates praised Dr Kois’ inspiring lecture. Dr Gunilla Assmundson said: “John Kois was a brilliant speaker. I’m now exploring the courses he runs back in Seattle, so that I can jump on the bandwagon!”

“The quality of the speakers at the BACD Annual Conference has been very high, and it has been really great listening to speakers of John Kois’ calibre,” dental technician, Gavin King, commented, having travelled from as far away as Australia to attend the BACD Annual Conference.

“You can’t fault John Kois’ lecture – he’s an amazing speaker,” Dr Mital Patel agreed.

If you missed out on the chance to join Dr Kois’ lecture, don’t worry. You have the opportunity to take part in the next programme of inspiring lectures and hands-on workshops at the BACD’s Sixteenth Annual Conference, which will set the stage for distinguished dental professionals to present their insights on cosmetic dentistry. Be sure to visit the BACD website for further details.


For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit www.bacd.com

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