Houston Dentistry Volume 1 Issue 3 The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies - Page 6

cover feature Rejuvenating Patients and Practices Photo by Ray Bryant, Bryant Studios The founders of The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies (from left): Dr. Hal Stewart, Daniel O’Rourke,CDT and Dr. Craig Herre with Kathy Stewart, Executive Director. THE TEXAS CENTER FOR OCCLUSAL STUDIES by Tina Cauller ooth decay and periodontal disease have long been considered the primary diseases that dentists treat. With our aging population and people keeping their teeth for their lifetime, a new disease has emerged. Occlusal disease, or malocclusion, is extremely common in American society. Occlusal disease manifests itself in many ways including, but not limited to, the following: T • Tooth wear (attrition) • Tooth fracture • Gum recession • Bone loss • Myofascial pain • TMJ pain and dysfunction 6 HOUSTON DENTISTRY | www.houstondentistrymagazine.com As Dr. Hal Stewart points out, “While this disease is common and affects the majority of people, there are very few dentists who are equipped with the knowledge to effectively and predictably treat it. The art and science of addressing the entire chewing system – the TMJ, the muscles, nerves, occlusion, and teeth – is not really taught at the major postgraduate teaching institutes or in dental school. Some of the common ways to ‘treat’ occlusal disease are all symptom relief related. Night guards protect the teeth only at night when the patient is sleeping. Facial massage or Botox just relaxes the muscles temporarily. Medications just alleviate symptoms for a short time.” The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies in Flower Mound, Texas was co-founded by Dr. Hal Stewart, Dr. Craig Herre and Daniel O’Rourke, CDT. The Texas Center is a state-of-the-art