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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

Apr 29, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting direct access to dental care, clear and accessible teledentistry is becoming a clear necessity. This week’s guest on A Tale of Two Hygienists has a few strategies for making the most of your abilities from a distance and for getting your patients to open up.


Jamison Spencer, DMD, MS is a dentist specializing in the treatment of sleep and temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) disorders. Dr. Spencer is also the president of the Craniofacial Pain Center and the host of the Airway, Sleep & TMD podcast, where he discusses TMJ disorders, oral appliances and many other topics.


In this episode, Dr. Jamison Spencer explains how the COVID-19 pandemic may make teledentistry acceptable for both professionals and patients alike, reveals which mouthguard is his preferred model, and discusses the best way to encourage a patient to be honest about their teeth-grinding.





Interview starts: 9:41 

- Dr. Spencer explains why so many dental professionals are so apprehensive about treating TMJ issues.


- How a chance connection with an experienced dentist helped Dr. Spencer get his hands on his own practice.


- Why some hygienists can find both professional and physical benefit in sleep and TMD work.


- Dr. Spencer extrapolates how COVID-19 will impact both in-person and teledentistry in the long term.


- The most effective way of finding out if your patient is a tooth grinder or jaw clencher.


- Why Dr. Spencer favors the Farrar (or as he calls it, airway-friendly) nightguard.


- How the “lips together, teeth apart” ethos can be a boon to treating patients with jaw issues.


- What dental professionals can do to make the most of their time during quarantine.


- Why CPAP machines pose a unique risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.





“A huge part of what a dentist can do in sleep and TMD can be done by the dental hygienist.”


“We’re gonna have now an entire new generation of patients, if you will, that think ‘Well why would I drive someplace?’”


“[Teledentistry’s] gonna help us to catch these acute problems when they’re easy, rather than the patient waiting until it’s sort of worth it to them.”


“My stock answer to almost any question is ‘it depends’.”


“Would you like to look into why you’re banging your head against the wall, or would you just like another helmet?”


“We are all in this together.”



Dr. Spencer’s homepage -


Spencer Study Club -


The Airway, Sleep & TMD Podcast -


Dr. Spencer’s email: 


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