In this episode of the Postural Restoration Podcast, I sat down with Dr. James Carlson, DDS who will be presenting at our 13th Annual Interdisciplinary Integration symposium on April 21-22nd. Dr. Carlson began studying gnathological principles while still a student at the University of Minnesota dental school nearly 60 years ago. While there, he had the opportunity to study under one of the top gnathologists at the time, Dr. Charles Stewart, and learn his techniques using the Stewart Articulator. From then on, he knew he wanted to pursue a dental career studying these principles. Following his dental schooling, Dr. Carlson spent 3 years in the Navy, eventually settling into his first private practice in Alaska. In his early years of clinical practice, he began studying and applying the concepts of Centric Relation (CR) of the temporomandibular joints, and Centric Occlusion (CO) of the bite. Around this time, he was also introduced to the concept of "Dental Kinesiology", published by George Eversaul. These studies and others, allowed Dr. Carlson to see the influence that the neuromuscular system has on jaw position. Throughout these early years his "patients became his professors" and he has continued to learn from them and numerous other integrative minds throughout his career.
Dr. Carlson began introducing these concepts within his appliance fabrication and began to see an even greater influence of the neuromuscular system on dentition. His appliances at the time were meant to calibrate the maxilla to the mandible through the use of vertical height, anterior/posterior guidance and other qualities. This led him to the work of Dr. Barney Jankelson, who is widely known as the founder of Physiological Dentistry. From this point, his career was focused on Form vs. Function within the Stomatognathic system. This thinking led him to collaborate with not only numerous other dentists, but also included a 20 year partnership with an integrative chiropractor who also introduced him to the influence of Podiatry and the foots influence on posture. Through these collaborations, he was introduced to the Acculiner System which he spent many years selling and training others on its use. During this period he learned the importance of a level bite plane, and has promoted the concept ever since.
Throughout his career, Dr. Carlson has authored numerous papers and publications. Starting off with "Beyond Dental Care", which he summarizes as "everything I wasn't taught in Dental School". We then discuss his original publication which was titled "Physiologic Occlusion" but was retitled "Orthocranial Occlusion & Dentition Design" following the release of a new edition. And "Analyzing the Stomatognathic System", in which the concepts of "Form vs. Function" of the entire system is addressed more globally. These publications played a large role in Ron's own study of the stomatognathic system and Dr. Carlson's experience and passion for these concepts were a primary factor in the decision to host this years symposium, "The Stomatognathic System - An Interdisciplinary Approach in the Management of Spatial Navigation and Structural Strength". We end our discussion joined by Ron to discuss how they plan to navigate these concepts through their presentations next month. We are very excited for the opportunity to introduce our PRI community to Dr. Carlson and these topics as Ron Hruska, Dr. James Carlson and Jason Masek collaborate throughout this years symposium.