I started my journey in learning more about occlusion and dysfunction several years before I started to play golf.
I thought that being a dentist was fixing stuff. I thought a real sport was baseball and martial arts. I was wrong on both.
When you watch golf on television, the pros make it seems so easy. Then you try it yourself and realize there is more to golf than just smacking a little ball with a stick. I didn’t understand that something that looked so easy would take both physical and mental training.
When I went through Pankey Institute, I was lucky enough to be taught by some of the masters that made it look easy. Parker Mahan, Henry Tanner, Henry Gremillion and our own Gary DeWood and Jim McKee. These gentlemen helped me start my understanding and set me on my journey for growth.
So, what do golf and occlusal dysfunction have in common?
Both are played on a course that is about seven inches wide … the space between your ears.
When I started to play golf at the age of 40, my friend Brad gave me some great advice. Take lessons from the beginning so you do not develop bad habits. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher that focused on teaching me how to use my body and my mind.
“Success depends almost entirely on how effectively you learn to manage the game's two ultimate adversaries: the course and yourself.”
Each shot you take presents you with a new challenge. Most teachers suggest visualizing the shot in your head before you shoot. Your mind will help your body accomplish what the mind sees.
Jack‘s quote is also true for dentistry and specifically occlusal dysfunction. Successfully understanding occlusal dysfunction comes from recognizing the signs and symptoms your patient presents and gathering the information and data so you are able to picture in your mind’s eye what is happening.
How you manage the course (your patient) and yourself (your knowledge) will determine your success.
The occlusion workshop has been redesigned this year (2018). With Gary and Jim spearheading, I know the students will be exposed to a great experience on their journey. Understanding the relationship between teeth muscles and joints at first can be confusing. But like golf, taking lessons from good teachers can help your game.
When I mentor, I always try to help our students with their thought process in understanding the “why.” I believe knowing why something has occurred will help you determine the what (to do).
“The best way to cope with trouble is to stay out of it as much as possible.”
So why travel to Arizona? It can help your Occlusal Dysfunction Game and your golf game.
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