Q&A with POS Instructor Dr. Shockley Wier | How to be more efficient with orthodontic mechanics

Posted by POS Course Adviser on 6/14/17 8:32 AM

While at POS Headquarters teaching Seminar 1 this past weekend, Dr. Shockley Wier sat down with Dr. David Dana to discuss his upcoming course Orthodontic Mechanics. Watch the video to learn his tips for increasing your effciency with orthodontic mechanics.

Click below to play the video or scroll down to read the full transcript.


Video Transcript

DR. DAVID DANA: Hi everybody, I'm here with my dear friend and POS instructor Dr. Shockley Wier. He's here teaching Seminar 1. He came all the way from Ohio to teach Seminar 1. We had a great weekend and I figured this was a perfect time to ask him some questions. Shock has put together a new lecture for the company together with Dr. Charlie Kahwagi from Australia and it's a lecture on advanced mechanics. So let's ask him a few questions and see where did he get his ideas. Shock, how you doing man?

DR. SHOCKLEY WIER: Fantastic, nice to see you again.

DANA: Nice to see you. We had a great weekend together this time. Class went fantastic, thank you. So you are lecturing almost every other weekend, and you deal with a lot of students. You help them not only with diagnosis but to get through their cases whether they have problems so the case is working smoothly they always rely on you for help and guidance. So tell me what made you think about putting this mechanics class together?

WIER: Well like you said I do a lot of case diagnosis and I do see many progress cases every day. I see where students feel confident and I see where students struggle. In the basic series we really work hard to teach you mechanics. Sometimes there's such a huge volume of information students think that some of the material is hard for them to retain all that information so what we're trying to do is for those students that are involved in mechanics right now is give them a systematic approach to address things that they see in their daily practice. How to fix class II, how to fix class III, how to work with vertical whenever the bite opens and things of that nature. It's a good overall review and there are new additional things that we've put in there to try to help students make their clinical orthodontics more efficient and to get increasingly predictable results.

DANA: Yeah, actually yeah, you know after sitting in class eight hours straight for four days on a weekend, by the time you're done your brain is pretty fried so a lot of the concepts that we teach them even though we review them, often during the seminars they kind of like skip their mind and when they're faced with the mechanic a situation in the clinic even though they saw it they don't remember it so this will be a great way to go back and refresh all the concepts on mechanics. So tell me how hard or how fun or how difficult has it been or how easy has it been to put the lecture together? People don't know how much effort it takes. I'd love to hear it from you, how's it gone?

WIER: It's a lot of work you know, whenever you have cases it takes a long time for the case to be documented from beginning to end. We want to show cases that are current. We have a lot of cases that are treated in the United States which are similar to a lot of cases that are treated in Europe and Australia as well as all over the world. I've been fortunate enough to teach all over the world so we're trying to show those cases that are applicable to everyday practice. Something I'd like to add to what you were talking about which I find is one of the biggest difficulties that students have as they gain experience is to feel confident whenever they look at their patient to know what to do at the next step.

DANA: That was my next question.

WIER: Great minds think alike. So what we're going to try to do is give you some tips and some pointers as to how to evaluate a case at each appointment, how to feel more comfortable in your decision as to what the next step should be and to try to take some of the mystery out of evaluation and treatment of the case on the spot because occasionally cases don't go quite the way you expect them to. It could be due to skeletal resistance issues, it could be due to compliance issues, and that's a lot of what orthodontic practice is. It's looking at the case and knowing what tools you have to accomplish the tooth movements that you need so that you can increase your efficiency. I teach a lot of students that in the beginning you're going to have a very good education, you're going to have a very solid education and you're going to know what to do but over time you want to increase your efficiency it makes for happier patients because they get treated more quickly. It makes for happier doctors because it takes some of the stress out of the situation. At the same time it becomes more profitable because the less times that you have to see a patient in the chair the more money you make.

DANA: Shock, I know I pulled you away from class. Thank you for making the time and I know you have to go back so let me ask you one last question. Give us a tip, all of us, what can we do tomorrow to be able to be more efficient on our mechanics?

WIER: Well I would like you to focus on decreasing patient compliance because whenever you rely on patient compliance you are setting yourself up to be occasionally disappointed. I prefer that any time you have spaces to do everything you can to close the spaces with closing coils because that doesn't require any patient compliance at all. Once the spaces are closed if you've achieved an ideal occlusion then you're done. If you do have some remaining occlusion to adjust then at that point the patient can use elastics and finish settling the occlusion to get it in the proper position but at least you kept patient compliance to a minimum therefore increasing your efficiency.

DANA: Perfect. Great tip indeed. Compliance is one of the problems we have. Thank you, Shock.


Learn more about our upcoming Orthodontic Mechanics course here.

Questions about orthodontic mechanics? Ask in the comments below!

Topics: POS Instructor Tips, Current POS Students, Mechanics

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