Dr. Frank Spear on a sofa, in the foreground is an ipad with the new course.

As part of an overhaul of occlusion-related content on Spear Online, dentists now have access to two new online continuing education courses from Dr. Frank Spear and an updated pathway of occlusion CE courses to help members refine their clinical skills.

Spear regularly audits its online educational content to ensure members can draw from coursework that reflects the complex aspects of current topics and techniques.

“What we found were some occlusion courses were recorded nearly 10 years ago – before airway was incorporated into EFSB workflow concepts,” said Dr. Frank Spear, referring to the integration of esthetics, function, structure, biology concepts that permeate Spear curricula.

“Other courses were outdated or simply needed to be refreshed to meet our updated branding and quality expectations, and some had content that overlapped with other courses,” Dr. Spear added.

With these changes, members will notice special messaging on some occlusion courses and, in some circumstances, will be notified in advance of any changes in completing an occlusion course for CE credit.

Two new occlusion courses

The new course “Applying Occlusal Concepts in Practice” instructs restorative dentists on what can be done to help patients who indicate they lost their bite, or if they don't know where to bite.

In this course, Dr. Spear discusses how to assess and manage occlusal stability before restorative treatment. He also discusses how to evaluate occlusal risk factors and how to manage patients who won't do orthodontics but present with excess overjet, anterior open bites, deep overbites, or Class III bite relationships.

This new course will replace older Spear Online equilibration courses since it combines – into a single video – when and how to complete trial equilibration on diagnostic casts, understanding compromised occlusal relationships, and options to make occlusion successful for those with compromised relationship.

Also added to Spear Online is “Understanding and Choosing an Occlusal Appliance.” In this course, Dr. Spear performs a step-by-step clinical exam of a patient's jaw joints and muscles, then discusses the thought process to determine the appropriate occlusal appliance to deprogram muscles, stop joint pain, protect teeth from wear or fracture, and other reasons.

This course will replace older and outdated Spear Online occlusal appliance courses since it provides a simplified appliance selection process. It compares the mechanical rationale of different appliances to the possible biologic rationale for why they may, or may not, be successful.

Dr. Spear also teaches the indications, contraindications, benefits, and risks of eight different appliances with real-life case studies.

Updated occlusion CE course pathway

The new “Evaluating and Treating Occlusion in the Clinical Practice” pathway replaces the former “Occlusion” pathway. The updated pathway consists of 11 comprehensive occlusion courses and one team meeting designed to help Spear Online members and their teams to master occlusion core concepts.

The new pathway helps the clinician and team deepen their understanding of occlusion, how to conduct a proper examination to understand the problem, and how to begin developing solutions for patients.

Learning objectives for the new pathway are:

  • Express a comprehensive understanding of occlusion.
  • Apply the practical steps needed to assess occlusion as part of the treatment planning process.
  • Use the tools and resources available to properly diagnose and treat malocclusion.

The new pathway consists of the following 11 courses and one team meeting:

  1. Occlusal Concepts & Philosophies- Current Knowledge vs. Classic Beliefs
  2. What is Occlusion?
  3. Managing Occlusion in Clinical Practice
  4. Factors in Establishing Maximum Intercuspation (MIP)
  5. A New Perspective on Occlusion
  6. TMJ Is Not a Disease
  7. Using Models to Evaluate and Treatment Plan Occlusion
  8. Bite Registration Techniques
  9. Using the Articulator in Clinical Practice
  10. Understanding and Choosing an Occlusal Appliance
  11. Occlusal Appliances for Patients with Tooth Wear
  12. Applying Occlusal Concepts in Practice


Commenter's Profile Image Melissa M.
October 23rd, 2020
This is exciting. Can’t wait to dive in to the updated CE. Thank you Frank for all the hours of preparation you still devote to teaching, mentoring and inspiring us.
Commenter's Profile Image Muna S.
November 5th, 2020
Excellent and outstanding! Fabulous addition...
Commenter's Profile Image Roger S.
November 26th, 2020
Frank, in these two courses, you have cleared up so much confusion. I truly cant thank you enough. I have watched them both 2x already and still pick up something new. Thank you for sharing with us your time and talent!