We realize that doctors have to make choices about investing their time and money in continuing education. There are many excellent resources for information both within traditional academic as well as individual education programs. We also know that there is pressure to learn techniques and procedures that increase revenue. Many dentists feel stagnant because they believe that their offices need a "shot" of practice management advice. In particular, current cosmetic trends have doctors believing that modern practices must be delivering "esthetic" dentistry to be profitable. Still other doctors seek education for skill development rather than profitability, and the question then becomes one of which theory or which teaching center to follow.
What we teach at the Piper Education and Research Center has bearing on every one of these issues. We have not designed our curriculum to refute the claims of others, but often our science does not support concepts from the past that are taught in many centers. Likewise our findings often expose the fallacies of seemingly "technologically advanced" schools of thought. When we claim that theories and therapies from the 19th and 20th centuries are incorrect, we explain why with our detailed clinical cases and research. Our goal is to expose the truth about modern diagnosis and management. We do not teach doctors how to make money, but we do know that we empower our students with a personal knowledge base and with the confidence that attracts and retains more patients. We find nothing wrong with making patients feel better about their appearance, but we also know that any form of esthetic dentistry will fail when our concepts of Joint Based Occlusion and Joint Based Dentistry are not understood.
At PERC we teach the best science of the 21st century. Most concepts of occlusion date back to the 19th century, and most occlusal management techniques that are taught today originated over fifty years ago. Our concepts of Joint Based Dentistry are developed from current technology from the 21st century. Witness the "recent" integration of CAT scan machines in dental offices throughout the country. We believe that CAT scans are extremely valuable diagnostic images, but where does one learn about this technology? The Piper Clinic patients serve as the data base for our concepts that we teach at PERC, and we have used CAT scan technology for over twenty-five years. Since 2001, alone, the Piper Clinic has generated over 800 additional new CAT scans per year. We teach you how to read and integrate CAT scan technology. Since 1987, every patient at the Piper Clinic has had an MRI scan of the temporomandibular joints. Drawing from our Piper Clinic data base of 10,000 patients, this translates to 20,000 temporomandibular joint x-rays and scans that we have reviewed. We can teach you how to read MRI scans, and after you know how to read them we will help you to understand why we feel that Joint Based Dentistry is the trend of future dental diagnosis and treatment. A PERC education will empower doctors with medical modeling for diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular, malocclusion, and facial pain patients.
Others have been in the business of teaching concepts of occlusion, and for the most part dentists have had three choices for selecting a position for bite treatment. The first, and perhaps most popular is the habitual bite of the patient. Patients are told to "tap their teeth," and that is the bite position that is selected. A second choice has been to manipulate the mandible to an "acceptable" centric relation, and debate has raged for decades about which technique or posture gives the most reliable "centric." A third common choice given to patients is an electronically created "neuromuscular bite," a position that is frequently somewhere anterior to "centric relation." The primary question becomes which bite is most "stable," and each philosophy is adamant that the others are incorrect. At PERC we can tell you exactly why these philosophies are at odds and why no single theory is applicable to all patients.
Our approach to the occlusion is different. We base the bite relationship upon the actual imaged anatomy of the joint. At the Piper Clinic all articulated study casts are compared precisely to the images of the joint. Furthermore, our analysis explores all options for bite management. For those who believe in maximal intercuspation, we have Magnetic Resonance scans that are taken in maximal intercuspation. For those who manipulate into "centric" we record the bimanually manipulated position in our scans. For those who practice any form of forward jaw posturing, our MR scans record a position at an incisal tooth edge position. No matter what occlusal theory you follow, we have answers about the prognosis of the patient from the latest imaging advances for joint analysis. Furthermore, we record the condition and position of each temporomandibular joint during anterior guidance. We can tell you the exact condition of each temporomandibular joint for every teaching case that we show. At PERC we do not just teach occlusion, we teach Joint Based Occlusion.
You will find your education at PERC to be straight forward and precise. We aim to integrate all dental concepts through our insight from Joint Based Occlusion and Joint Based Dentistry. Furthermore, we have explored what others are teaching, and we can tell you exactly when and where our curriculum will integrate with these other centers. You will find that your education at PERC clarifies concepts that are not answered by others. You can take your PERC education to any level that you desire, from a more basic understanding of TMJ patients to becoming the true TMJ expert in your community. We know that everything that you do in dentistry will be improved from the insight that you gain from a PERC education.
If you are a doctor or student seeking the source of quality education, clinical expertise, original research, or training experience then we are dedicated to your goals. We will train you exactly as we practice. We will accelerate your learning curve. If you are a patient, you have our assurance that the doctors that we have trained are as up to date as we can make them. Through our Facility Search we match patients and doctors who have similar orientations. We are committed to share everything that we know and do with the doctors that we train and with the patients that they treat. You decide.