June is here and we’re almost halfway through 2017! It seems that time passes so quickly. We will soon turn around and be preparing for the Christmas holidays. As a matter of fact, at our last team building, we discussed the Christmas party and the dates for our Christmas vacation. It is truly astounding to me how quickly time flies.
June will be a busy month for me. The first weekend in June, I will be teaching a course at the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans. This is one of three courses that I will give in a five-course program called the Orofacial Pain Continuum. This program is specifically for dentists who are currently in practice and desire to have a more in-depth knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of orofacial pain. It is now in its fourth year under the direction of Dr. Henry Gremillion. Dr. Gremillion and I are very close friends. Dr. Gremillion is the Dean of the LSU School of Dentistry, as well as a graduate of an Orofacial Pain residency program at the University of Florida School of Dentistry in Gainesville. Upon taking the deanship at LSU, it was Dr. Gremillion’s desire to develop a residency program very much like the one he attended at the University of Florida. Florida closed the pain program about 10 years ago, leaving a major void in the southeastern quadrant of the United States in regards to advanced training in orofacial pain. There is currently a group of us who are extremely interested in getting a new program up and going again. I am currently leading a fundraising drive to raise money to support a resident for two years in the Department of Orofacial pain. I will be more actively involved with the organization of the Orofacial Pain program at LSU in coming years. This does not mean that I will be moving to New Orleans. It just simply means that I will be going there more often to participate in teaching and directing the development of this new and exciting program.
The first full week of June, I will be enjoying a vacation in Florida with my son, his wife, and our two granddaughters. Linda and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary this summer. Upon Linda’s request, we have chosen to have a family vacation rather than have a big party. Either way, she and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage and the joy that we have spending time with our family. I look forward to any special time I get with my immediate family. So, we are excited about our week together in Florida.
Also in the month of the June, I will be having some Physical Therapy residents observing in the office. If you happen to have an appointment and you see some unfamiliar faces here, it just may be a physical therapist who is going through specialty training at Memorial Hermann/University of Texas School of Medicine. Last month, I was asked by the Coordinator of the Memorial Hermann Orthopedic and Sports Residency program if I would speak on temporomandibular joint anatomy, physiology, and management of care. The lecture was well received and the residents actually requested time to come to the office to observe how Dr. Pettit and I treat our patients. I love teaching and was very excited that they would be interested enough to request a special observation time here in the practice. I will be hosting my residents from the VA hospital here in the office for observation purposes as well.
The month of June begins the research of my second-year resident at the VA hospital. She will embark upon the third project involving the Hyoid bone. As many of you know, I have two residents who have completed their Master’s degree with research done here in the office on the study of the little bone in the throat called the Hyoid bone. Dr. Pettit was one of those residents and his interest was so stimulated that he chose the field of orofacial pain and joined me in this practice. The new study will involve the volumetric changes in the airway which occur before and after treatment with an orthotic appliance, such as one that you wear. We will begin publishing our results in journals this summer. Be on the lookout for more information regarding the Hyoid bone. If you would like to discuss this further, simply asked me or Dr. Pettit and we will be happy to share more information with you.
As you can see Dr. Pettit and I are always searching for opportunities for personal growth and development in the field of orofacial pain. We attend seminars, we lecture, we write papers, we do research, and we stay on top of the information for one purpose; and that is so that we can provide you, our patient, with the most up-to-date, current treatment available anywhere in the world. It is our goal that we offer you the optimum experience and care here in this office. You are our greatest asset and we will continue to strive diligently to provide you with the very best TMD care.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain