Nathan Pettit was born in 1983 in Webster, Texas, a bustling community located slightly southeast of Houston. His father was a graduate of the University of Texas Medical School, and shortly after Nathan’s birth, the family decided to relocate to the Pacific Northwest where the elder Dr. Pettit had been offered a job. Nathan spent much of his formative years in the Oregon area.
After graduating from high school, Nathan attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition in 2007, and decided to pursue a career in dentistry. He was accepted into the highly competitive dental program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Four years later he graduated summa cum laude with a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree.
Dr. Pettit then faced a decision. He could enter into private practice, or he could continue his education with a postdoctoral residency. Deciding to return to the state of his birth and to pursue his education further, he opted for the latter. Dr. Pettit joined the Michael E. DeBakey V.A. Medical Center in Houston as a resident in the Prosthodontic Program, where he would complete an additional three years of training in advanced implant, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry. This specialty branch of dentistry deals with the restoration and maintenance of oral function through the replacement of missing teeth and other oral structures via artificial devices.
His residency included a rotation at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, with training in oral oncology and the treatment of maxillofacial defects. Dr. Pettit was also awarded scholarships to attend courses in dental occlusion and temporomandibular disorders during this time.
It was early in his specialty training at the V.A. hospital that Dr. Pettit discovered his passion for the treatment of craniomandibular disorders, through his association with Dr. Auvenshine’s Facial Pain Clinic. Working with veterans, he noted that many of them presented to the clinic with unique post- traumatic stress and with chronic temporomandibular dysfunction.
Intrigued and moved by these veterans, Dr. Pettit pursued further research and study. This included the completion of additional coursework and elective rotations in TMJ sub-specialty clinic work. And this is how Dr. Pettit first came to MedCenter TMJ. During his final year of residency, he headed Dr. Auvenshine’s Facial Pain Clinic under direction of Dr. Auvenshine. He also graduated from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain Mini-Residency program with over 110 hours of continuing education in TMD and Orofacial Pain.
Dr. Pettit was awarded the Master of Science in Dentistry degree from the University of Texas Health School of Dentistry in 2014. He also received his certificate in prosthodontics from the Michael E. DeBakey V.A. Medical Center in 2014. His post-graduate research directed by Dr. Auvenshine contained groundbreaking findings on the relationship between the hyoid bone and myofascial pain. He has presented his research which was well received at numerous professional conferences across the United States.
Please help us in extending the warmest of welcomes to Dr. Nathan Pettit!