Challenges of occlusion – Dr John Kois

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  Posted by: Dental Design      1st September 2018


Occlusion is one of the most controversial subjects in dentistry. As practitioners will know, a “bad bite” is one of the leading causes of tooth loss and can be as detrimental to a patient’s teeth as dental caries and periodontal disease.

Until recently, dental schools have spent very little time teaching occlusal concepts, leaving a huge gap in practitioners’ knowledge of this important subject. Outside of university, many sources of occlusal education teach the topic in a manner that can confuse learners and these approaches often make the process of treating occlusion appear far more complicated than it should be. That is why experts such as Dr John Kois have dedicated a lot of their time to educating dental professionals on the current challenges of occlusion.

After receiving his DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree from the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr Kois was awarded the Certificate in Periodontal Prosthodontics with an MSD (Master of Science in Dentistry) degree from the School of Dentistry at the University of Washington. He currently maintains private practices limited to prosthodontics in Tacoma and Seattle. As the Past President of both the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, Dr Kois is also the founder and director of the Kois Centre – a didactic clinical teaching programme.

Featuring a curriculum that is taught almost exclusively by Dr Kois himself, the Centre is the only continuing education programme in America that conducts and publishes independent research. Through evidence-based dentistry, Dr Kois is committed to “Enabling motivated dentists to achieve extraordinary levels, expanding knowledge and application skills in restorative dentistry”. Since its inception in 1995, the Kois Centre has grown to become one of the world’s most prestigious dental institutions.

As ever, Dr Kois remains passionate about teaching and helping practitioners both within and outside of the Kois Centre. For the first time in several years, he will be joining many other leading experts at the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) Annual Conference 2018, where he will provide his professional insight as he presents a lecture entitled, “Functional Occlusion: Current Challenges”.

“Occlusion and occlusal function has always proved to be a difficult topic within the dental profession,” says Dr Kois. “This is because we, as practitioners, have learned how to avoid problems by ensuring single unit crowns ‘do not touch too much’, which is a risk management solution that works. However, this is not a concept that works occlusally in more involved cases, because the requirement is that teeth need to touch ‘just right’. In reality, this is actually more difficult to achieve.”

Dr Kois believes that understanding the role occlusion plays is important for the long-term success of restorative dentistry. He says: “Our knowledge about occlusion has been based on gnathologic principles. These concepts are the basis of a mechanical system with focus on posterior determinants and mutual protection. If it is that simple, why can’t we predict when or why occlusal pathology develops and why can’t we always create a therapeutic occlusion?”

In order to answer these questions, Dr Kois’ lecture at the BACD Annual Conference will focus on biologic principles necessary for developing a functional occlusion. He will present new paradigms to inform delegates’ understanding of occlusal dysfunction. Practitioners will be armed with the knowledge to predict more successful restorative results and will be able to recognise when complex treatment is not necessary.

“I will teach delegates five functional diagnoses that help establish functional risk and prognosis,” Dr Kois explains. “By the end of the session, delegates should also have a comprehensive knowledge of the factors that contribute to tooth wear. My lecture will build a concept of occlusion, based on available science, which will close the gap between ‘laboratory generated occlusion’ and ‘operatory required therapeutic occlusion’.

“If delegates take one thing away, I hope that it is the importance of pathway versus guidance. Delegates will not go back to practice on Monday morning as the same dentist.” 

Dr Kois will be one of many internationally-renowned dental professionals at the BACD Annual Conference. He adds: “As an organisation, the BACD has great vision and equally brilliant members supporting that vision. The Academy is always trying to help practitioners improve the delivery of oral health care, and I’m delighted to be part of its 2018 Annual Conference.”

This three-day event will offer the chance for delegates to take part in various lectures and hands-on workshops. Delegates will also have the opportunity to explore the latest equipment and materials at an exclusive trade show. To make sure you don’t miss out, visit the BACD website today to book your ticket!


The BACD Fifteenth Annual Conference 2018

‘The Functional Smile: Start With Why…’

8th– 10thNovember 2018

Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Kensington, London


For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit

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