School is back in session, football has started both in college and the NFL, and cooler weather is on the horizon. September brings with it a change in season and somewhat of a reprieve from the hot temperatures that we have experienced this summer. Hopefully, we will be able to dodge a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, but we will see as time progresses.
I like September because it reminds me of the beginning of school. When I was in elementary, junior high, and high school our classes began the Tuesday after Labor Day. Therefore, September brings with it the smell of new clothes, new books, and the smells of buildings that have been closed up for three months.
September will be another busy month for us here at MedCenter TMJ. I am looking forward to September 23rd because I have been invited to speak at the LSU School of Dentistry Alumni Meeting. This marks the 40th year since I received my PhD from LSU Medical School. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, I taught in the Department of Anatomy in both the medical and dental schools. Following my graduation from the PhD program in 1976, I joined the faculty at LSU School of Dentistry with appointments in both the Departments of Anatomy and Restorative Dentistry. It was during those formative years at LSU that I solidified my career goals in dentistry. Following two years of frustration within the world of academia, I chose to leave New Orleans and come to Houston where I set up my practice treating TMD and Orofacial Pain.
The topic which I have chosen for the alumni meeting is entitled “Facts, Fads, and Fallacies: Things I have learned in 40 years of practice.” This lecture is intended to be a review of trends that I have seen come and go within the field of TMD and Orofacial Pain. There have been several philosophies that have gained prominence within the field of TMD. I would like to say that we are less confused now than 40 years ago. However, there are still issues of disagreement. One of these issues is an ongoing study of the validity and specificity of treatment modalities. Currently I am working with the Dean at LSU School of Dentistry to establish an endowment fund for an ongoing program of research along with the establishment of a residency program in Orofacial Pain and TMD at LSU. We will create this program in the name of Dr. Parker Mahan, the professor who trained me.
At the end of the month, I will enjoy a few days of retreat with my brother and sister in Palm Springs, California. For the past eight years, we have taken our vacation together and have traveled to various locations, but our favorite is Palm Springs. My brother and I are avid golfers so we will spend several days enjoying the sites around Palm Springs and playing golf together on some of the most beautiful courses in the United States. This will give me needed refreshment due to the fact that it has been a very busy summer, with little time to rest from our workload.
Our commitment at MedCenter TMJ, is that we will continue to seek, search, and develop a new techniques and programs for achieving the most effective treatment for our patients who suffer from the pain and discomfort of problems of the temporomandibular joint and associated nerves. My commitment has a track record of over 40 years and Dr. Pettit is equally enthusiastic about continuing excellence in care to you, our patient. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to work to honor the trust you have placed in us. We appreciate you greatly.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain