Cosmetic dentistry has come on a long way in recent years, and dentists now have more tools than ever before to provide patients with high quality treatments that are both aesthetic and built to last.
But it’s not always easy to keep up with the latest developments. If you’re new to the profession then chances are you won't have much experience in advanced composites, or been taught much on short-term orthodontics. Similarly, if you have been working in practice for several years, you may feel as though some changes have passed you by; you may also feel as though there are some areas of your dentistry that you would like to improve.
For a complete overview of cosmetic dentistry today, Rena Eva Dean and Thomas O’Connor will present ‘A Comprehensive Introduction to Cosmetic Dentistry’ as part of the BACD’s 11th Annual Conference in Liverpool.
Designed for dentists of an introductory experience level, the lecture will cover everything from materials science to dealing with tooth wear, and will provide valuable hints and tips that delegates will be able to take away and apply to their daily working lives.
"Our lecture really is aimed at anyone who wants to get involved in cosmetic dentistry," says Rena. "If you want to build your level of expertise and get better at what you do then this lecture is for you."
In the first half of the session Thomas O’Connor will cover a range of topics including how to pick the right composite, shade selection, and how to achieve natural looking surface anatomy on restorations.
"Materials science is really important in modern dentistry," says Thomas. "Every material has its own strengths and weaknesses. Even the best composite will fail if you don’t understand the science behind it and how to use it correctly.
"I’m also particularly interested in shade selection and characterisation. This comes from my own frustrations when I was a graduate coming out of dental school, struggling to understand the intricacies of colour and translucency. I’ve learnt a lot of valuable lessons in this area, and so will spend some time explaining the 'science' of colour, how to measure it and knowing what to look for."
As part of his presentation, Thomas will draw upon numerous case examples, starting with the end result and working backwards, to show how he was able to blend his restorations with the surrounding natural teeth.
"Surface anatomy is another important part of any restoration," continues Thomas. "You really need to appreciate the bumps, grooves, pits and angles of the tooth in order to match with adjacent teeth. As well as shade selection and colour then, we will investigate surface anatomy and hopefully try to tie all of these things together to show how with a few simple rules you can vastly improve the quality of your composite restorations."
Following on from Thomas’s presentation, Rena Eva Dean will then take to the stage with further clinical cases and demonstrations.
"For anyone starting out in cosmetic dentistry, my advice will always be to start small and then work your way up," says Rena. "My philosophy has always been to master the simple things first and then move on to more complex cases while maintaining the same high standard in all your work. Once you understand things such as colour, hue and chroma you’ve then got the building blocks to move on to bigger things.
"With this in mind, in my part of the lecture we will look at a range of cases, starting from simple single-tooth examples and gradually moving up onto full mouth rehabilitations. We will cover a lot of material, and this is not to say you should ever run before you walk. However no matter what your experience level I hope the final case presentations will give a “big picture” of how everything ties together and show how, with a lot of hard work and determination, you too can achieve similar high standard of work."
The BACD’s 11th Annual Conference ‘Life LIKE Aesthetics’ will take place on 6–8 November 2014 at the ACC Liverpool.
Pictured: Thomas O'Connor