Who knew that following Ron’s advice many years ago to find a dentist who appreciates the influences of airway, neutral TMJ position and occlusion would take me to Vilnius, Lithuania? I have had the privilege of working with a multidisciplinary team of dentists, Dara Chira DMD orthodontist, Jeff McClendon DMD restorative dentist, and Michael Gunson DDS, MD orthognathic surgeon for the treatment of complex TMD, Airway and Occlusal patients. We have been invited to speak at various dental conferences on our multidisciplinary approach to care (Lips, Teeth, and Tongue to Toes). Most recently we spoke at the Baltic Sea Community on Orthognathic Surgery and Orthodontics Spring course on “The Gravity of Temporomandibular Disorders Treatment “in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The conference opened with dental radiologist Dania Tamimi BDS, DMSc presenting on radiographic evaluation of the TMJ. I just about fell out of my seat when she showed a left cranial side bend and how it affects the TMJ, mandibular position and occlusion!! This made my discussion of the RTMCC so much easier for the participants to understand. There were lectures by orthodontists, and orthognathic surgeons as well. Dr. Mariano Rocabado DPT presented arthrokinematics of the craniovertebral and craniomandibular areas with the influences of manual therapy on the cervical spine and its impact on neutral TMJ. All the lectures and especially Dania and Dr. Rocabado's lectures were a perfect set up for our team to close the meeting with how we work together to achieve balance for our patients on so many levels. My part was very well received as I was able to develop the PRI concepts from an Advanced Integration approach including LAIC, RBC, RTMCC, muscle chains, forward head posture, asymmetrical patterns and the importance of the diaphragm and attaining proper breathing mechanics and ZOA with its influences on temporal and mandibular position and function. It was great fun demonstrating a balloon technique to 230 participants from 30 different countries!!! I am very excited about the feedback we got after and how open minded the group of dentists were to the idea of occlusion being more than just about the teeth!!! They really do like looking at teeth though!!!!
We were able to stay a few extra days and tour Lithuania and Latvia which included a tour of a 14th century castle on Trakai Island, Riga, Hill of Crosses and The Rondale Palace!! The trip was absolutely extraordinary!!!
I am so grateful for all the continued education and support that Ron, Jen, Jason, RJ and many others have had over the years in helping me understand the science of PRI, the application of PRI for better patient outcomes and for helping me with spreading the word to other professionals on how important it is for patients to work with a PRI minded clinician.