If I were writing the curriculum for a four-year dental education, I would start in the freshman year by asking the question, “How does disharmony between the TMJ’s and the occlusion cause harm?” I would then tell every student that this question will be a dominant centerpiece for their dental education. I would let them know that during their four years, they will be expected to understand the answer to this question so clearly that when they start practice they will be at a tremendous advantage over more than 90% of the “usual and customary” dentists.
Excuse my political incorrectness for being so blunt? But a dentist who does not understand the relationship between occlusion and the TMJs can never be better than a mediocre dentist. Let me explain why.
Disharmony between the TMJ’s and the occlusion is responsible for excessive tooth wear, fractured teeth, loose teeth, teeth that shift out of position. This disharmony is also the single most common cause of discomfort and patient dissatisfaction with the dentistry that is done. If this sounds like an exaggeration I can assure you it is not. I can tell you from many years of treating thousands of patients, and working with thousands of dentists in our curriculum at The Dawson Academy that an understanding of occlusion is life changing for any dentist, regardless of specialty.
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