By David M. Matson
I have spent 4 days in Nashville Tennessee last week at the Academy of General Dentistry’s Annual meeting. The AGD is the second largest dental organization in the country and has the primary mission of providing and promoting quality continuing dental education to dental professionals. This is sort of our version of research and development as it offers a chance to see and learn about newest techniques and materials. I have been a member of the AGD since 1981 and have attended a number of these conventions over the years. This year I made a focus of continuing my study of the clinical management of the temporomandibular joint. You may know of this particular joint as the TMJ and may have heard or experienced an associated problem in the past.
TMJ problems can come in many different types. These can range from the very common muscle soreness to complex derangements of the joint itself. I was able to interact with other dentists who treat these problems and share ideas and techniques about what works and what does not. As with most health problems learning to listen to the patient and develop a good history of the problem is critical to the success in diagnosis. It has been great to be able to spend a couple of uninterrupted days in study and re-evaluation of the procedures we have in place in the office and focus on improvements in our management of TMJ problems.