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What you didn’t learn in dental school

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What you didn’t learn in dental school: TMD Training

model isolated on plain background puzzled confused lostThink back to dental school. It is significant journey in the “way back” machine for some of us. The one thing I remember about dental school was the massive amount of information that was thrown at us in four short years. And the problem was that much of the information had no context because we dental students had no frame of reference. It is hard to understand the Differential Diagnosis for TMD when you had no idea what TMD looked like. It might not have been for many years that you received first hand experience about TMD with a patient. And it may have been the pain you caused after a simple filling or the locked jaw that came after an extraction or perhaps the crown that keeps cracking no matter how thick you make it.

TMD training in dental school was weak at best. At least for me it was. We were shown how to ‘romance a jaw into CR’ and failed miserably at it when we tried it on each other. Since we received little understanding or context in dental school, after graduating I avoided treating or even diagnosing it in my practice. I just did not have the confidence to provide answers or solutions for what the patient asked or needed.

That all changed when I went to the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies in Nevada. I was exposed to the leaders in a group of dentists who provided a physiologic approach to occlusion. Although it was pegged as ‘neuromuscular’ TMD therapy it was much more. It did no rely on an expensive articulator that needed to be ‘programmed’. Instead I re-learned my physiology and anatomy and neural science that I could relate directly to my patients. LVI started my journey on being a TMD Dentist.

Now there are many other schools that teach the physiologic approach to occlusion, in many different countries worldwide. And there is an organization of like-minded dentists who share and provide instruction and mentorship for dentists who are just learning. That is the International College of Cranio Mandibular Orthopedics or ICCMO.

ICCMO is a great resource and educational alternative for those wanting to explore a physiologic approach to TMD.  If you want to learn more about ICCMO, check out to find articles, instruction, conferences and TMD training facilities and connect with experts in TMD in your area of the country.