Spear has always been passionate about increasing accessibility to continuing education in the latest dental laboratory technologies. As part of our efforts, we’ve partnered with the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology to offer five awardees the chance to attend a Spear seminar at no charge through our Spear Education Grant. One of our 2017 awardees was Jennifer Krueger, CDT, who chose to attend Dr. Frank Spear’s Demystifying Occlusion seminar. Congratulations, Jennifer!
As I walked into a Spear seminar for the first time, I was overwhelmed and amazed with the beauty of this institution and felt completely out-of-place. I am a small town girl from rural Minnesota. I have been a lab technician all of my adult life and have become a lifelong student in dental technology.
In the lobby, I saw smiling, welcoming faces that gave me a warm greeting and started walking me through getting registered. And so the journey began ...
I got seated in the auditorium (which holds the same number of people that reside in my town) and started arranging my things, getting ready to understand a subject I think we all struggle with sometimes: occlusion.
Dr. Frank Spear took the stage and started explaining the basics of occlusion and how it related with the human body - how it impacts the patient depending on how we manage the treatment plan for the patient. I felt like he was explaining how we are going to arrive at a destination and what challenges we are going to face depending on what roads we take. He also explained how the idea of occlusion has changed over time and what does and doesn’t work.
I could tell he was an experienced educator, because he didn’t just show us his triumphs, but also some of the things that didn’t work. He was informative and explained things in a way that related to what we do on a daily basis.
I learned about how condyle relation makes a difference when the dentist is prepping and that sometimes things can look great, but completely change when a patient bites down and seats. I also learned that changing even a portion of the occlusion can have an impact on the entire mouth.
All of this knowledge that I was given will have an impact on my career and relationships with the rest of the dental team. I truly believe that an educated dental team benefits everyone. I have made it my mission to understand my place in the dental team, and it has evolved over the years. I am working with a wonderful dental team at Aspen Dental, Winona. My doctor and assistant truly appreciate my understanding of dental technology.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this seminar, and I cannot express my gratitude enough. The grants and scholarships through the Foundation of Dental Laboratory Technology, Spear and all of the generous supporters have had a lasting impact on me as a dental technician. Thank you again to the entire staff at Spear for putting together a fantastic program.
(Learn more about the Spear Education Grant.)
Jennifer Krueger, CDT