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East Anglia Study Day review

Cranio Study Group meeting Where Function meets Form - April 2013. CPD at its best - a view from a delegate - Marc Mortiboys, Clinical Director and Owner, Mortiboys Dental Spa offering an holistic and intregrative approach to dental care talks about dentists and therapists working together.

The inaugural meeting for the Midlands and East Anglia Region study group was held in April 2013 at Dr Helen Harrison’s delightful new training facilities at her clinic, Granta Dental, Cambridge, when 25 dentists and physical therapists came together in a meeting of minds and disciplines to help each other develop a multi-disciplinary approach to cranio-mandibular dysfunction in an interactive hands-on clinical meeting entitled ‘Where Function Meets Form’.

The morning was shared between course leaders, dentist Helen Harrison BDS  MFGDP and osteopath Alex Taylor BSc Hons (Pharm), BSc Hons (Ost),  supported by Granta Dental therapist, Neil Bukavs, who runs the diagnostic services. Since 2008 Helen and Alex have worked together successfully on over 100 patients who have clearly benefitted from the rapid symptom relief, improved tolerance of oral appliances and the more stable outcomes that can result from this approach.

During the morning they shared their professional experiences and approach to working together on diagnosing and treatment patients.  Explaining how each approached their evidence-gathering, they then ran through their diagnostic tests and described how they have developed their protocols which lead to the different angles each takes to the same patient and how they ensure that the two professions communicate effectively and fit their different treatments together.

Next we were introduced to the star patient of the day, a retired dentist who was bold enough to share his personal cranio-mandibular and general health difficulties.  His dental history and managed malocclusion in conjunction with past traumas and a current medical condition provided the backdrop for an acute presentation of distressing oro-pharyngeal dysphagia. Such a case might present to any dentist, osteopath or chiropractor and the question must be “how and if the issues interconnect and if so, where to start with treatment?”

The game plan was to work with the positive group spirit and utilise the tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience to elicit an agreed treatment journey from the group, having seen the wide range of diagnostic tools that already exist. This was achieved by creating a number of small discussion groups each comprising a variety of skills. The group discussion of the numerous viewpoints and treatment modalities made it quite clear that there is a need for further collaboration between dental practitioners and body- workers in order to agree a diagnostic and treatment pathway. Hopefully, the dentists realised that there are times to initiate physical therapy prior to appliance therapy as well as support their therapy during treatment, and that the body-workers understood the need to collaborate professionally with a myo-functionally orientated dentist.

A question was asked during the follow-up discussion group session “Is there any scientific evidence that this co-treatment approach actually works?” and the answer has to be “not yet”. It was then suggested that we should set up a retrospective study to verify the usefulness (or not) of combination treatment and the editor of Cranio View has led an initiative on this.

Thanks to the presence of Rod from Triple O dental lab, we gained insight into appliance design and philosophy. This led perfectly on to a discussion to guide Helen and the Eastern Region study group to move forwards and develop professionally. One of Helen's visions is to create mini-style residency programs in the form of co-treatment seminars.  Helen offers a consultancy service for diagnostics, especially with her remarkable biometric equipment called ‘Biopak’ from Bio- Research and hopefully after this day many practitioners will work more closely with Helen and her highly skilled team.

Posted on 6 September 2013
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