Top Five Dental Articles

Looking back to the beginning of 2020, we recall when we first learned COVID-19 was on our shores, in our communities, and spreading rapidly.

As the world responded, the novel coronavirus quickly upended everything in dentistry and had a direct impact on everyone in the Spear community as practices closed amid the surge panic. But dental practices banded together to address emergency care at first, and then faced reopenings, and eventually the task of aligning the team with safety protocols.

Some independent dental practices did not survive. Some team members were furloughed or let go. We all know people whose livelihoods were affected by the economic toll of the pandemic.

As we shared in our recent roundups of the Top 5 Spear Online clinical courses and Top 5 Spear Online Team Meetings of this turbulent 2020, amid so much social transformation, many dental practices took advantage of downtime to read and study – to soak up new knowledge and prepare for the inevitable return of patients.

Here are our Top 5 Digest articles from 2020 – a year that challenged us all to be open to change, to tend to each other's wellness, and to stand together in Great Dentistry.

rubber dam over molars

Simplifying the Rubber Dam

By: Andy Janiga, D.M.D.
Date: April 15
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Dr. Janiga, a former U.S. Army dentist who transitioned to private practice in New Hampshire earlier this year, addressed the issue of mitigating aerosols with a rubber dam. With the rise in emergency care due to the new coronavirus, he stoked community conversation about how dentists should reconsider rubber dams and recognize their value to minimize saliva- and blood-contaminated aerosols.

Top front teeth.

7 Common Problems with Layering Anterior Composites and How to Fix Them

By: Dawn Wehking, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
Date: Sept. 16
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In this article, Dr. Wehking – a Colorado-based Spear Visiting Faculty member – provided easy-to-implement strategies to help restorative dentists with layering composites in the esthetic zone. All year, content on anterior composites generated a high degree of engagement among Spear dentists and their teams.

Creating a True Sense of Urgency: 4 Strategies to Confront the Practice Management Challenges of COVID-19

By: Amy Morgan
Date: March 26
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When the pandemic-related shutdowns struck dentistry, Spear Resident Faculty member Amy Morgan was among those who were out front providing independent practices with information to rally dental teams through the anxiety and uncertainty. In this article, she introduced four simple steps to align the team on practice management priorities in a time of significant limitations.

How to Use Patient Education to Tackle 3 Practice Challenges In the COVID-19 Crisis

By: Ricardo Mitrani, D.D.S., M.S.D.
Date: April 1
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With patient concern and safety considerations in mind, Dr. Mitrani challenged dentists and their teams to refine communications plans and messaging to reduce anxiety and increase trust about treatment planning to prevent oral health issues in a time where everyone in the world is forced to operate with greater efficiency.

Full front smile.

Lithium Disilicate Resin-Retained Adhesive Bridgework in Fixed Prosthodontics

By: Jason Smithson
Date: Aug. 17
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Dr. Smithson, a Resident Faculty member based in England, explained why lithium disilicate resin-retain adhesive bridgework leads to better clinical outcomes and is less expensive and time-consuming in many cases.