Archive for December, 2016

Two Tales about Tolerance – my latest article for the Cranio UK journal.

It is a well accepted fact that dentists are individualistic. This seems to apply even more so when it comes to functional orthodontics. The Foundation for Airway Health held a White Flag event, in Arizona, last September, with the aim of forgetting differences and establishing some common ground, with the health of the airway being accepted as an important consideration in treatment planning. Any practitioner doing any kind of orthodontics was welcomed. The Foundation now plans to expand its membership to medical practitioners and body therapists.

In September Awais Ali,  a third year dental student at King’s College London Dental Institute, and his colleague, Shehroze Khan were presented with the prestigious award at the New York Film Festival for young filmmakers. It is presented in collaboration with PLURAL +, an initiative of the United Alliance of Civilisations. The aim is to promote collaboration and tolerance between different cultures. This film demonstrates the shortcomings of the prejudices that we hold about people who, outwardly, seem different from ourselves. It shows how we can be inspired when we step aside from them and how we could behave differently.

The link to the film “Inspire”  is

Awais is also the director of Shirt Makers of London and you might like to see the attributes of other King’s dental students in his other film: “Not the Usual Drill”  A very different set of students!!!

You can also read more about the award on this link:


December 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm Leave a comment

“Disciplinary Approach to Cranial Facial Disorders” BSSCMD meeting.

Report by Dr Constance Wong.

A meeting of the British Society for the Study of Cranio-Mandibular Disorders took place on Monday 7th November at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall, Mall, London. This was a fantastic opportunity for members from different backgrounds to gather together and learn new ideas from each other. We had an amazing turnout with a mixture of dentists, chiropractors and osteopaths as well as an orthodontist, massage therapist and technology start up representative. We all shared the common thought of treating the patient holistically.

There were a total of five talks given by various speakers. The first talk of the morning was by orthodontist Dr Helen Jones on “Exploring the Wider Role of Dentistry: The effect that jaw problems can have on the airway, TMJ, posture and movement disorders.” She emphasized the close link between the palate and nasal cavity and how this affected the effectiveness of breathing, and also described the different treatments that could be offered to mouth breathing patients.

The second talk was by Dr Michael Trenouth, consultant orthodontist, who conducted research on “A prospective randomized clinical trial of two alternative designs of Twin-block appliance.” He wanted to see if putting Southend clasps on anterior teeth in Twin-block appliances would control their angulation and enhance skeletal correction. His results showed that Southend clasps did indeed limit the tipping, thus enhancing skeletal correction.

This presentation demonstrated the complexity involved in a research project and, therefore, why clinicians in a general practice situation are unable to produce robust research results. Well documented anecdotal evidence is, nevertheless, an important factor in Evidenced Based Dentistry.

This talk was followed by Mr Jake Cooke; a chiropractic neurologist who spoke on “Neuro-orthopaedic rehabilitation, assessing how the nervous system controls balance, posture and movement.” Jake introduced the group to the concept of neuroplasticity and the anatomy and function of the cerebellum. He also explained the connection between the limbic system and the cerebellum, and how these are linked to pathologies in movement and in the TMJ.

Dr André Hedger presented his talk after lunch on “Why is a multi-disciplinary approach needed in cranio-mandibular disorders”. He reviewed the anatomy and function of the TMJ and how a displaced joint can cause many different symptoms beyond what we usually encounter in dentistry, such as tinnitus and Miserable Mal-alignment Syndrome. He also kept us amused with regular photos of his adventures whilst rock climbing, to check that we were still concentrating after a very delicious lunch!

The final speaker was neural cranial restructuring therapist / dental student Mr Ian Hedley. Ian gave his talk on “An introduction to neural cranial restructuring and treating the T in TMJD”. He introduced us to neural cranial restructuring, a physical medicine technique using endonasal balloons to improve shape and structure of the skull bones. He explained the different phases of his treatment including bodywork, cranial manipulation and endonasal balloon use.

From a personal view: this was my first BSSCMD meeting and I have learnt a vast amount about the different specialties outside of dentistry. The speakers have also demonstrated the many connections between our different fields and through co-operation, we can provide a multi-disciplinary approach to treating our patients. The fact that the meeting was held in a lovely, traditional location with lots of history and heritage was a bonus, and we were kept warm with beautiful open fireplaces and the hospitality ensured we were well catered for. Overall it was a fantastic day and I look forward to meeting more members at future meetings.


December 13, 2016 at 10:35 am Leave a comment

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