July is always an exciting month! It is a month that includes July 4th, the day that our country celebrates Independence Day. I love Fourth of July celebrations. I have memories of wonderful firework displays as well as patriotic gatherings. Some of you may have attended the Fourth of July celebration of the Boston Pops in Boston, MA. This is something that I have always wanted to do and maybe one of these days I will have an opportunity to do it. I am a patriotic person. I was raised by parents who felt very strongly about the importance of God, country, and family. Those values run deep in my blood and are part of my DNA. It is my hope that the hard times that we are going through now will bring about a renewed sense of unity in our country and that the division that seems to be broadening will, for the survival of our country, be resolved. This is my prayer and I will defend our freedoms as the most exceptional country in the world as long as I breathe.
July is a month that is filled with much preparation and anticipation. Even though it will be a month of high temperatures in our area, it will be cool and calm inside Suite 210. Toward the end of the month, I will be returning to New Orleans to give a lecture in the Orofacial Pain Continuum. This lecture will be discussing practice management principles for doctors who wish to begin to limit their practice to the field of Orofacial Pain. Having created this practice almost 40 years ago, I have studied and experienced a lot of things which I think will be of terrific value to young doctors who want to pursue this unique practice. This is a novel lecture topic for me and I will be spending quite a bit of time this month developing the presentation.
This month will also involve writing two papers on the Hyoid bone. I am excited to finally be at a point where I can commit additional time to writing. It is my goal that by the end of the month, Dr. Pettit and I will have both papers written and ready for submission for publication.
The Hyoid bone is the small bone in the throat which maintains the patency of the airway from the oral cavity to the trachea. The Hyoid bone is a “freely floating” bone but has 20 muscles attached to it. My research, along with what Dr. Pettit has described in his thesis research for his Master’s degree, shows that when the muscles of the jaw (those that move the jaw joint) are relaxed, the Hyoid bone moves down and forward, opening the airway. It is our theory that harmonizing the bite with the function of the temporomandibular joint through the use of orthotic appliances, much like what you wear, will in fact improve breathing. This, in turn, will help better oxygenate the brain and result in more efficient and restful sleep. Current research shows that if the brain is deprived of oxygen over an extended period of time, it can predispose a person to early onset dementia and possibly even certain forms of motor dysfunctions such as Parkinsonism.
I will be preparing for two other lectures which will take place in August and September; each having to do with training dentists who are already in practice and wanting to expand their practice into areas of TMD and Orofacial Pain. One will center on the use of 3D cone beam radiology in their practice and the other dealing with principles of diagnosis and treatment modalities.
As you can see Dr. Pettit and I remain very active in our pursuit of knowledge. This pursuit is for one reason, so that we will be able to provide you, our patient, with the most modern and up-todate treatment available anywhere in the world. Each of us are studying, reading, attending lectures, and delivering lectures so that we can give this knowledge back to you in return. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to work diligently to make your experience at MedCenter TMJ the very best possible.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain