Drawbridge Seminars -- Bringing Research to Practice

Programs are presented by either Dr. Higdon or Dr. Howard and are similar in content.

We are available to present a ½-day program, a 1-day program, or a 2-day program.

The ½-day Program

     This presentation will be roughly equivalent to the first half of the full-day program. It represents an introduction to TMD treatment concepts. It will focus primarily on the following:

  • Recognizing Temporomandibular Disorders in Your Patients
  • Differential Diagnosis of the TMD Continuum, and Other Orofacial Pains
  • Deciding Which TMD Patients to Treat and Which to Refer
  • Functional Anatomy of the TM Joints Related to Internal Derangements
  • How to Screen Your Patients for TMD
  • Concepts of Causation of TMDs (It’s Not All Occlusion)
  • An Introduction to TMD Treatment Concepts, including intraoral appliance selection and management

• The Full Day Program

     In addition to the above, the full day program will also include:

  • Rehabilitation as a Premise for Definitive Treatment
  • Diagnosis-Specific Treatment (They’re Not All the Same)
  • Interdisciplinary Involvement in TMD Definitive Management
  • Expanded overview or intraoral appliances in TMD management
  • Occlusal Alteration — When, How, Why
  • The Role of TMJ Surgery  — Appropriateness, Sequencing and Options
  • Expanded overview of intraoral appliances in the management of TMD

• The 2-Day Presentation

Day 1 will be the Full-Day program.

Day 2 will be a limited-participation – demonstration and hands-on clinical  experience, applying the principals presented in Day 1 with patients selected from your own practices.

Attendance at Day 1 will be a requirement for Day 2. The number of participants will be determined, to a large degree, by the clinical space available with a maximum of 10-12.

In Addition:

Both Dr. Higdon and Dr. Howard are available to present a 1/2-day program designed for Dental Hygienists, and a different program to educate Office Staff and Assistants on their role in managing patients with TMJ Disorders.

Dr. Howard is available to provide a seminar specifically designed for an orthodontic and/or a pedodontic audience that can be tailored to a 1/2-Day, Full Day or 2-Day program. The evidenced based presentation includes the current knowledge about managing bruxism, mandibular fractures, and sleep apnea in children and adolescents. Diagnosis of early-stage TMJ disorders, with an expanded focus on the relationship of trauma to TMJ internal derangements, facial asymmetry and skeletal malocclusion will be presented through case studies from his over 35 years of experience as Director of the TMJ Disorders Clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The difference in imaging and treatment choices for growing individuals versus adults will be explained and appliance management of patients with TMJ disorders before during and after orthodontic therapy will be clarified.

Dr. Higdon is available to provide a 1/2-Day or a Full Day presentation which could include any of the following:

"Functional Integration of the Masticatory Triad" — A comprehensive consideration of the functional anatomy and physiology of the most elegant and misunderstood joint system in the human body and its significance to the practice of dentistry.

"When Does a Patient Need a Functional Analysis of Their Dental Occlusion?" — The use of facebow registration and mounted dental casts as a diagnostic tool in evaluating the dental occlusion is clearly under-utilized in dental practice. But when should you consider using this straight-forward tool as a diagnostic aide in understanding the complex relationship between TMJ stability and dental occlusal harmony? The answer is "more frequently than you probably are now".

"TMJ Stability: Is C.R. the Holy Grail?"A contemporary look at the rationale for using Centric Relation or its equivalent (a seated joint position) as a reference position for any full-mouth occlusal therapy. Structurally intact TM joints provide the most reliable basis for treatment. However, current understanding of these complex joints, particularly what we now know about internal derangements, requires that we reconsider traditional thinking and techniques in finding a stable, functional, and pain-free joint position for occlusal therapy.


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