From Good to Great!

“The Pleasures of writing correspond exactly to the pleasures of reading.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov

I recently had the pleasure – and privilege – of writing the “Smile Message”  to readers of the latest issue of Smile Dental Journal, entitled “From Good to Great!“.

The message is about the importance of incorporating new and proven digital technology into 21st Century dental practices, especially in Orthodontics.

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Checklists in Clinical Practice: A Simple Driver for Excellence

“Checklists seem able to defend anyone, even the experienced, against failure in many more tasks than we realized.”

Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

What Do We Mean By A Checklist?

As per the definition of Hales et al;  A checklist is an organized tool that outlines criteria of consideration for a particular process. It functions as a support resource by delineating and categorizing items as a list—a format that simplifies conceptualization and recall of information.

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Understanding The Learning Curve in Dental Photography: A Reality Check


A £5,000 professional DSLR doesn’t turn you into an award-winning photographer. It just turns you into the owner of a £5,000 professional DLSR.”

In this blog post, I would like to highlight what I believe to be an important issue related to some clinical dental photography courses and workshops that I have come across during my years of practicing, researching and writing the previous two editions of my clinical photography eBooks as well as presenting lectures and my own hands-on photography courses for both specialists and general practitioners alike.

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“Rapid” Orthodontics.. Is There Such A Thing.. Yet?

“I’m in no hurry: the sun and the moon aren’t, either. Nobody goes faster than the legs they have. If where I want to go is far away, I’m not there in an instant.”
Alberto Caeiro, The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro

In certain orthodontic marketing circles, the answer would be: Well, Of course there is!

© Shadi Samawi
© Shadi Samawi

However, as always, what we are really concerned with is scientific evidence rather than pure marketing talk. In this post, I would like to highlight some of the biological factors and limitations that are known to exist and this should make us think twice before flatly accepting such claims of faster tooth movement.

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“Systems Thinking” in Orthodontic Practice

 “We can’t impose our will on a system. We can listen to what the system tells us, and discover how its properties and our values can work together to bring forth something much better than could ever be produced by our will alone.”
― Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer

We all want to maximize practice efficiency, simplify management and allow for more time to focus on what’s really important. In that regard, the importance of creating well-defined systems in our orthodontic practices cannot be over-emphasized.

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Simplicity vs Complexity in Orthodontic Mechanics

“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts. Wisdom lies in their simplification.” ~ Martin Fischer

Retouching on the idea of productive simplicity in orthodontic treatment, I have decided to present in this post some examples of what I believe to be unnecessary over-complication of orthodontic appliances in treating certain types of orthodontic problems. Such cases often present at one’s practice seeking second opinions about their “lengthy” or “traumatic” experience with fixed appliance treatment in particular. Usually, at the first look inside the mouth, you clearly realize the problem; there are so many different attachments, elastics and wires of different sizes and designs inside the oral cavity that not only is it a playground for various complex contradictory mechanics and force vectors, but can also present a serious hazard to the patient’s safety and oral hygiene.

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The Essence of the Multidisciplinary Approach: A Case Summary

“The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.” ~ James Cash Penney

I thought today’s post should be about something more clinically-oriented, so I’ve decided to share with you a short summary of a multidisciplinary-treated case which I had treated several years ago in collaboration with my colleague and brilliant Restorative Specialist Dr. Maher Abdeljawad*. This case was awarded the 2nd place award in the Multidisciplinary Best Case Category at the peer-judged MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Aesthetic Dentistry Awards in 2011. We are sharing it here because it clearly demonstrates the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in communication, planning and execution in dentistry, and we wanted to emphasize that point in this post.

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Active versus Passive Self-Ligation? : Control versus Low-Friciton?

“In Matters of Self-Control, As We Shall See Again And Again, Speed Kills. But a Little Friction Really Can Save Lives.”

~ Daniel Akst

In my previous post, I talked about my personal thoughts and experiences with Passive Self-ligating brackets. There are many Cons and Pros to PSL, but how do they compare to ACTIVE self-ligating systems (ASL)?… and would a Hybrid appliance of both Active and Passive SL design give us the best of both worlds?

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