Usually, May is extremely busy; however, this year I have decided not to attend the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP). This year’s meeting will be in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Pettit is planning on going for the four-day meeting. I had planned to go; however, my son, Dr. Christopher Auvenshine, is coming to Houston for a long four-day weekend. Chris has been on call for the last two months. He called me recently and said that he would like to come home for a visit. He wants to play some golf and hang out with me and his mother. With an offer like that, I immediately canceled my trip to the AAOP meeting. I have attended every meeting of the AAOP since I joined in 1985. I have served as President of the Academy along with every other office and position in the organization, but to be able to spend four days with my son supersedes any obligation that I feel toward the Academy.
As we begin to look forward to the summer, I am in the midst of writing three major research papers on the hyoid bone. As I have written in previous newsletters, the hyoid bone has been of extreme interest to me for the past 5 to 7 years. Dr. Pettit was one of my first residents at the VA Hospital to do research on the hyoid bone. His study enabled him to receive his Masters degree from the University of Texas School of Dentistry here in Houston. We have more research planned on the hyoid bone. There will be a resident starting a new research project this summer here in the office. More on that project will follow in future newsletters.
During the month of May, I will be preparing for my upcoming anatomy course which I teach in New Orleans along with Dr. Henry Gremillion at LSU School of Dentistry’s Orofacial Pain Continuum. This is a two-day anatomy course which will be taught with dissection specimens. In addition to one-on-one teaching, I will give several lectures within the course; one being osteology (bones) of the skull. This is always a fun project for me and I look forward to continuing to be an active part of the Orofacial Pain Continuum at LSUSD for many years to come.
The first week of June, I will be joining my brother and sister in California for our annual sibling reunion. We have been doing this now for about 12 years. Each year the three of us choose a destination and make arrangements to spend a week together. It’s always fun and we enjoy each other’s company. My brother and I are avid golfers and we always manage to find a golf course where we can match our skills, playing for “Championship of the World”. He won the Championship last year, so I’m out to win back the “bragging rights” this year. My brother, who is seven years older than I, taught me how to play golf when I was 12 years old. Needless to say, he is one of my all-time heroes and I love being able to spend time with him and my sister.
The month of May will close with the celebration of Memorial Day. The office will be closed for the four-day weekend. It’s always a special time as we remember the men and women who have served this nation in the Armed Forces, as well as those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I am proud to be an American. I’m proud to have served my country as a Captain in the US Army. The two years I spent as a young dentist at Fort Riley were instrumental in shaping my career in dentistry. It is with extreme humility that I remember those special years and the professionals with whom I worked. We did some pretty incredible treatment as we served our soldiers as they were returning from Vietnam, many of whom suffered severe bodily injuries. What a great experience. I would gladly do it again if I were given the opportunity.
Dr. Pettit and I continue our quest for more knowledge, both in academic research as well as clinical application of new information that surfaces daily. We will continue to read, study, take courses, give lectures, or whatever it takes, so that we can offer to you, our patient, the greatest care possible for this very complex disorder. We thank you for choosing MedCenter TMJ for your TMD care and we will assure you that we, as a team, will do everything possible to make sure that your experience with us is the very best.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain