Forty five years ago, in the fall of 1972, the first class at The Pankey Institute was held. It’s easy to forget how much things have changed in the world of dental continuing education. Read on for an enlightening reminder of how far dentistry has come in the last few decades …
Pankey History: Dr. Henry Tanner
Dr. John Anderson and Dr. Loren Miller each had sold their private practices and dedicated their careers to the creation of the Institute. In 1974, Dr. Anderson asked Dr. Henry Tanner to be assistant director of education. Dr. Tanner had been head of fixed prosthodontics at USC School of Dentistry and had made several significant contributions to dentistry.
Many years earlier, Dr. Tanner had rebuilt the occlusion of Dr. Anderson, who then described Henry as “the finest restorative dentist in the world.” Dr. Henry Tanner is most often associated with the development of the Tanner Appliance.
Dr. Tanner vividly recalled the first time he made a lower full arch appliance for a woman who was having severe head and face pain. She and her husband went to the hospital emergency room and she was given morphine and Demerol, yet she was not having much relief.
During an emergency visit at his office, Dr. Tanner made an acrylic wafer, placed it directly in her mouth, had her touch it gently with her upper teeth, and asked her to mold it with her tongue. After the acrylic got rubbery, he took it out of her mouth, let it harden, and refined it. She was out of pain the next day.
Within weeks of that experience, Dr. Tanner met a well-recognized orthodontist, Dr. Bob Ricketts, who was taking laminagraphs (sectional x-rays) of his splint patients to monitor condylar position and bony healing in the joint.