In the midst of a pandemic that left many dental practices shut down, Spear Online saw many members tune into live webinars for support in understanding and navigating the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act or setting up systems and strategies to keep patients from disappearing.
Yet, what drew the largest Spear Online member participation this year was fundamental clinical content that helped them better execute on treatment.
It seems Spear dentists tried to reduce any feelings of helplessness during the COVID-19 crisis by taking a long view and redirecting their downtime toward continuing education.
For 2020, here are the most-viewed Spear Online CE courses, which range from beginner to advanced-level content.
1) Managing Occlusion in Clinical Practice
Instructor: Frank Spear, D.D.S., M.S.D.
Summary: Identify different guidance options and when to use them.
CE credits: 1.25
When considering new restorations, even for a single tooth, clinicians must know how to assess occlusal risks, which can potentially destabilize the bite and cause other problems. In this course, Dr. Frank Spear breaks down the four key mandibular positions to evaluate occlusion, as well as the occlusal goals for treatment of each. Emphasis is placed on risk assessment in MIP, specifically the risk of losing occlusal stability and clearance after prepping first or second molars. The decision to use canine guidance vs. group function is discussed for conditions, such as canine pontics in an FPD, canine implants, and others. The management of tooth wear is also assessed for the different mandibular positions, as well as wear retruded to MIP.
2) Technique Workshop: Posterior Crowns
Instructor: Robert Winter, D.D.S.
Summary: Learn indications for posterior crowns and preparation techniques.
CE credits: 0.50
When it comes to posterior crowns, it's not always necessary to create maximum reduction for the restorative material. In this course, Dr. Bob Winter discusses and demonstrates three different posterior crown preps to save enamel and preserve tooth structure. Learn indications for high- and low-strength monolithic restorations, posterior layered crowns and the material options available for all. Watch close-up occlusal depth cut, reduction and refinement techniques using depth limiting and axial reduction burs. The days of performing a single posterior crown prep design for all materials and for all situations are over.
- 2020's top clinical courses also included Dr. Winter's “Technique Workshop: Partial Coverage Posterior Inlays and Onlays”
3) The 5-Step Approach to Fabricate Conventional Dentures
Instructor: Darin Dichter, D.M.D.
Summary: Learn conventional complete denture fabrication.
CE credits: 1.00
Even though conventional dentures have been around for a long time and haven't changed much over the years, they are still being used in today's modern, clinical practices. In this course, Dr. Darin Dichter reviews the classic five-step approach for conventional complete denture fabrication. Each clinical step and the materials used in this classic approach is discussed — from impressions and base records to trial and final insertion. Recall the advantages of conventional dentures for edentulous patients and for clinicians. Learn protocols for trimming, contouring, building a case on an articulator, adjusting borders, determining the occlusal vertical dimension and insertion sequencing.
4) A New Perspective on Occlusion
Instructor: Jim McKee, D.D.S.
Summary: Increase understanding of malocclusions, pain and the TMJ.
CE credits: 0.50
New perspectives in occlusion bring a new level of comprehension to this challenging subject. By redefining occlusion to include not only how the teeth fit together, but also how the joints fit together, malocclusions and pain issues become clear. Three-dimensional imaging using MRI and CBCT provides direct visualization of the masticatory system allowing restorative doctors and specialists to better understand occlusal risk factors and articulate the prognosis for successful treatment to patients. In this course, Dr. Jim McKee discusses force distribution at the tooth and joint levels, three main clinical signs of mechanical overload, and pain sources.
5) Endodontic Diagnosis
Instructor: Lou Berman, D.D.S., F.A.C.D.
Summary: Learn the classifications of pulpal and periapical diagnosis and diagnostic tests.
CE credits: 1.25
A proper endodontic diagnosis is probably the most important phase of endodontic treatment. After all, the clinician cannot determine the proper course of treatment without a proper diagnosis. In this course, Dr. Lou Berman discusses the various disease classifications and definitions and reviews the diagnostic tests and essential radiographic presentations involved in endodontic diagnosis. Get an overview for making the most objective diagnosis possible. See CBCT interpretations, as they relate to endodontic pathosis, and discover the relationship between endodontic and periodontal defects and the various elements of non-odontogenic pain.