July was a very special month for me. On July 14th, I travelled to New Orleans to help teach a course at LSU School of Dentistry to a group of dentists who have begun a one year-long mini-residency in Orofacial Pain. I will lecture in three of the five sessions that will be held throughout the year, beginning in July of 2016 and ending in June of 2017. The course material will include approximately 120 hours of continuing education credit. This is the equivalent of two years of Masters-level coursework. I am excited about being on the faculty of the Continuum at LSU. As you know, I am a graduate of LSU School of Medicine with a PhD in Human Anatomy. It’s hard to believe that I obtained my PhD 40 years ago. However, time passes quickly and as I look back I am still humbled by the fact that I was allowed the opportunity to undergo graduate study at LSU’s School of Medicine.
I will also give lectures in Session 2 and Session 5. The first session deals with Head and Neck Dissection as well as Embryology Growth and Development. In Session 2, I will lecture on 3-D Radiography, Radiographic Anatomy, and Diagnostic Procedures. In Session 5, I will lecture on Practice Management and how to apply the knowledge that they will have gained through the year to their private practice.
August is always a busy and important month for the Auvenshine’s. Linda and I will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary on August 4th. Again, it’s hard to believe that we have been married 49 years, but the truth is we tied the knot on August 4, 1967. I consider myself to be the luckiest man in the world to have married my best friend and the finest woman I know. On August 10th, Linda celebrates her birthday and on August 11th, my son Christopher, celebrates his birthday. So needless to say, the first two weeks of August are busy and important days for me. Linda and I are looking forward to the celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary next year. We have already begun to plan for that celebration.
Linda and I will leave for a very brief vacation on August 17th to visit her father in California. I have written in previous newsletters about the fact that Linda’s stepmother, Betty, passed away at the end of May leaving her father, who suffers from dementia, without a caregiver. Linda has been working very closely with one of Betty’s daughters to get her father into a memory care facility in the small town close to where Harvey has lived for the last 85 years. He currently is doing quite well but it does require that we go check on him from time to time just to make sure that everything is ok.
As I look forward to the month of September, I will be presenting a three-hour lecture at LSU School of Dentistry on the 23rd to the LSU of School of Dentistry alumnus at their yearly conference. I have chosen as my topic: “Fads, Facts, and Fallacies: What I have learned about TMD in the last 40 years.” This is a lecture which I have wanted to do for several years now. There are a lot of techniques that when first presented, became fads. Many of them were developed without proper research, were based on misinformation, and therefore became fallacies. But there are some facts that remain true. This is what I want to clarify and delineate as I develop the theme of cautioning practitioners to always be aware of these techniques. Just because it appears on the market doesn’t necessarily mean that it is been properly tested through randomly-controlled trials that are required for evidence-based research.
Dr. Pettit and I are constantly searching the literature and continuing to do our research to add to the literature about the benefits of including TMD and Orofacial Pain in private practice. We are also working diligently toward seeking specialty status in the field of Orofacial Pain so that we can be in a better position to lobby insurance companies to cover this very important treatment. Currently insurance companies don’t feel a need to include TMD coverage simply because there is no specialty in this field. Hopefully, one of these days, we will be successful to gain the specialty status that we deserve.
We will continue to work to provide you, our patient, the best of care found anywhere in the world. Our goal is to be able to help you with this very complex disorder and the help you maintain the integrity of your jaw joints and muscles for the remainder of your life. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to work diligently to provide this quality care for you.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain