Last month Dr. Pettit and I attended the annual meeting of the Mahan Study Group in New Orleans. This is an elite group of doctors throughout the country who have been trained or attended lectures given by Dr. Parker Mahan. As many of you know, Dr. Mahan was my mentor and professor. He is the reason I am in the field of TMD and Orofacial pain.
Eight years ago, we reestablished the Annual Mahan Study Group meeting. Each year we bring in special speakers, who are experts in their fields, to bring us up-to-date on the latest and greatest research and issues in TMD and Orofacial pain. The list of speakers we have engaged over the past years reads like a Who’s Who in the field of Orofacial pain. This past meeting in March was presented by two doctors. One is a chiropractor who practices here in the Houston area, and the other is an osteopathic physician/PhD from Boca Raton, Florida. Both of these men are brilliant. They know the literature backwards and forwards. It was a real joy to hear their presentations.
The subject matter of the meeting this year was health and nutrition and the effects of pharmacology in chronic situations. Much of the discussion dealt with the mind, body, soul connection, which is called “psychoneuroimmunology” (PNI). PNI is the field of medicine which deals with the way that stress affects the immune system and leads to disease. I was the first person to introduce PNI to the field of dentistry with a chapter I wrote in Dental Clinics of North America in 1997. I wrote a follow-up article in 2007. If you remember from Booklet I, I write about the subject of PNI. I am extremely interested in this field of medicine since it bridges the gap between medicine and dentistry and affects so many of my patients.
Dr. Pettit and I learned a lot of new information that we will be incorporating into our delivery of care to you, our patient. We will be more than happy to visit with you about PNI and what we have learned from this seminar and our continued reading of the literature. All you have to do is ask.
This month will be another busy month for me. I will travel to St. Louis, Missouri to give a lecture on April 12th at the Washington University medical center. One of my former residents at the VA hospital is now on staff in St. Louis and has invited me to come and give this meritorious lecture at the medical center. I will also be completing the last two, two-hour lectures in my graduate course at the University Of Texas School Of Dentistry here in Houston.
April is always a special month for me because it includes the celebration of Easter. As a Christian, Easter is a very important a day for me. It is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which I consider to be the most pivotal event in human history. The office will be closed for the four-day weekend in celebration of this magnificent holiday. I hope that you will join me and others in this celebration.
As you can see we are constantly searching for the most current and up-to-date evidence-based treatment modalities for our patients. Dr. Pettit and I are totally dedicated to this effort because we feel that our patients deserve the very best that we have to offer. It is with this commitment that we get up every day and come to the practice. My greatest joy is to help people become free from pain and subsequently lead a healthy and fruitful life. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to work diligently to make sure that your experience here at med center TMJ is the very best.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain