VieSID Canada

What is functional Dentistry and Why Should you Care?

Functional Dentistry is a buzzword used by a variety of educators marketing their dental courses.  The term “functional” reflects the importance of providing dentistry that works in harmony with the various functions of the stomatognathic system.  These include mastication, swallowing, speech, bruxing, esthetics and respiration. 

But why should you care?  Current dental education emphasizes how to do a variety of procedures, often without the context of where and when they are best used.  In addition, dental training commonly considers the mouth as a simple hinge mechanism and ignores the complex movements of the mandible that create the proper function.

What happens when we ignore these functions?  Suboptimal results ensue which can include early failure of restorations, relapse of our orthodontic treatments, and dysfunction of our patient’s stomatognathic system including pain and loss of function.  These iatrogenic consequences create unhappy patients and ultimately jeopardize our professional reputations.   Our practices incur increased costs and we as dentists worry about these negative events. 

Dental practitioners often blame their patients as being “non average” and difficult to treat.  The reality is that every patient we see is unique and requires careful assessment of their function and any dysfunctions that are present before we begin treatment.  In this way we can plan treatment in a precise manner and seek to improve our patient’s comfort and function through our therapies. 

Why VieSID?  Our mentor at the Vienna School of Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Professor Dr. Rudolph Slavicek recognized that all dental practitioners need to understand function and dysfunction. As both a physician and a dentist he understood the value of physical diagnosis and applied his diverse talents in developing a systematic method of diagnosing the presenting patient.  This allows us to individualize our treatments from the simplest filling to the most complex reconstruction. 

VieSID Educational programs are taught worldwide in 19 different centers including Canada.  Our signature hands-on program, The VieSID Canada “Mini-Residency”, is a fifteen-day curriculum taught in three modules of five days.  A maximum of 12 students are accepted at a time to ensure an excellent learning environment. 

Recent Articles & Resources

muscle palpation

Muscles: the first responders.  What do they reveal?

In previous blogs we have discussed our patient interview, and clinical examination. To have a thorough understanding of the stomatognathic system it is essential to palpate the muscles that are responsible for creating movements that allow function to occur. Mastication, swallowing, speech, bruxism and respiration are the main functions that we need to consider.

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