November is a month that is filled with great expectation and Thanksgiving. I love this time of the year especially in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Fall is my favorite time of year in Houston. October and November usually give us the most beautiful days of the year with the colors of the season and the change in the weather. It is invigorating as we move towards the end of another year.
October was power packed with special events. Dr. Pettit and I were invited to speak in Orlando, Florida, to the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics. I know that is a bunch of big words, but in essence, these are specialists who reconstruct the faces and teeth of cancer patients who have had tumors of the head, face, and nose region. I have such great respect for what they do and I greatly applaud their work. Our association with this group comes through our work with Dr. Mark Chambers at M.D. Anderson Hospital. Dr. Chambers and I have been colleagues for many years and we often exchange patients in order to meet the special needs of patients with complex issues. Dr. Chambers is currently the President of the Academy. Dr. Pettit and I spoke on Sunday, October 18. I presented a lecture on an overview of the complex orofacial pain patient. Dr. Pettit presented his research on the hyoid bone and the effect of the jaw musculature on the muscles of the throat. Both presentations were well received and we both received favorable comments on the work that we are doing here at MedCenter TMJ.
In the first week of November, I will travel to Washington D.C. to the American College of Dentists. The American College of Dentists is a select group of dental practitioners who are nominated for membership because of their character and ethical practices. I have been a member since 1987 and have had the opportunity to sponsor several of my colleagues into the College. This year I am sponsoring Dr. Donald Cohen, an oral surgeon with whom I have been friends for over 30 years. Dr. Cohen practices in Smith Tower across from Methodist Hospital and is not only an outstanding clinician and surgeon but a wonderful individual. Dr. Cohen and I have served together on the Judicial Committee of the Greater Houston Dental Society for many years. This committee deals with ethical dilemmas within our profession. His contribution to the field of dentistry has been outstanding and he was selected with honors to become a fellow in the American College of Dentists. I am very proud to be his friend and sponsor for this event.
One of my most favorite holidays of all, next to Christmas and Easter, is Thanksgiving. This is a day which we pause and give thanks to God for His blessings upon our personal lives as well as our country. There are a lot of things that are wrong right now in the world and with our country. I have never seen the likes of what I am now observing. It is frightening in some ways to listen to the news and to read posts about events of a world in turmoil. But, I do know that God has ordained a special place for the United States and I have great hope that this country will be able to survive our current situation.
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear their prayers and heal their land, 2 Chronicles 7:14.”
It is my prayer this Thanksgiving that we, as a people, will collectively, humble ourselves, give up our wicked ways, and allow the Lord to heal our land. I hope that you will join me in this prayer on Thanksgiving Day.
Dr. Pettit and I continue to study, read, and pursue new information to reveal new techniques, materials, and ways of being able to provide a better service for you, our patient. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to do everything possible to provide you with the latest most up-to-date treatment in the field of TMD and Orofacial pain.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain