Inspiration for this article:
Recently we received the following comment on the blog article, "The Importance of Load Testing" by Dr. Leonard Hess.
I am a past attendee of the Pankey and Dawson curriculums ( long ago in the 1980's) and am flabbergasted that you still preach this anachronistic content which has long been disproven in the evidence based literature and debunked in dental education. I am a dental educator and long ago stopped teaching that every patient had to be in centric relation, that the TMJ bore the main load of occlusion and that anterior guidance and posterior interferences had a significant relationship to TMD. I see patients with harmful irreversible changes caused by excessive and unnecessary equilibration, and TMD patients grossly overtreated with unneeded prosthetics, orthodontics and orthognathic surgery. I am hoping that you will post this and respond. Although I have great respect for Dr. Dawson as a pioneer in dentistry the Dawson Academy needs to greatly modify its curriculum content to come into the 21st century. !
Harold F. Menchel DMD
You can find responses by both Dr. Hess and Dr. Dawson to Dr. Menchel's comments at the bottom of that article. Below is my response.
As dental educators, it is our duty to seek a total understanding of the foundational concepts and the associated clinical relevancy in order to teach our students and positively impact patients. Dr. Dawson’s very concept of complete dentistry, and what is taught by the Dawson Academy, is to identify any signs or symptoms that impede anatomic and functional harmony. It is our goal to provide the least invasive, most conservative treatment to help our patients achieve optimal health that is maintainably comfortable and beautiful. This we agree upon.
The “anachronistic content” you describe stems from an incomplete understanding of the anatomy and function of the masticatory system as well as the erroneous application of that misinformation. Much controversy and clinically skewed research stems from a lack of a common classification system for joint position, occlusion and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) diagnostic criteria. Sadly, such has perpetuated our profession and the opportunity to clarify is welcomed.