Treating TMD: Yes or No?

How Studying and Treating TMD Transformed One Dentist’s Practice for the Better

When Dr. Michelle Lee embarked on her dental career, she felt like there was a missing piece in how she approached dentistry. Discovering the power of TMD ultimately made her work more fulfilling and effective.

Dr. Lee relates her journey of achieving professional balance while attending the Pankey Institute, how treating TMD has transformed her practice, and why she believes career fulfillment is crucial to success.

Dr. Michelle Lee on the Power of TMD and Pankey Learning

Very quickly in my dental career after purchasing my dental practice, I knew I needed to expand my dental learning. I was seeing changes and problems within my patient’s dental health where I didn’t know WHY? Though I could easily tell the patient what we needed to do to fix their problem, I couldn’t necessarily explain the reasoning behind it: why a tooth broke, why wear occurred on one tooth but not the others, why the patient was having pain in their face, why pain was in a tooth for no apparent reason.

Not having these answers wasn’t good enough. I knew I needed to know the WHY. I believed if I figured this out I could partner with my patients and help them before problems like failing restorative dentistry, TMD issues, and myofascial pain started to arise. I decided to go down to the Pankey Institute within the same year I purchased my dental practice.

Dr. L.D. Pankey said, “A tooth never walked in the door.”

Attending the Pankey Institute changed my life both professionally and personally. I received a top notch dental education on comprehensive dentistry that included concepts like occlusion and TMD. The learning was presented from a technical, behavioral, and financial perspective. The Pankey Institute also guided me in creating my own personal and professional philosophy to achieve a work-life balance.

I am passionate about learning how the temporomandibular joint, muscles, and dentistry work together. Treating TMD allows me to deliver truly comprehensive dentistry to my patients. It’s like lifting up the hood of a car and examining the engine.

Learning about the TMD joint and the orofacial muscles helped me see dentistry from a new perspective. I am better able to delivery dentistry that is both protective and preventative. I have created a whole new culture within my practice because I show my patients WHY. This has made my work extremely rewarding.

What continuing education has had the most significant impact on your professional life? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

Michelle Lee DDS

Dr. Michelle Lee is very proud to provide all aspects of general, family, and cosmetic dentistry to the Fleetwood and Berks county areas. Dr. Lee is a 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and completed a one-year General Practice Residency program at Abington Memorial Hospital. Dr. Lee continues to keep herself abreast of dental advancements and takes hundreds and hundreds of hours of advanced dental education from the Pankey Institute and other courses for advanced dental training. She also maintains a faculty and advisor position at the Pankey Institute. Professionally, Dr. Lee is member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, Pennsylvania Dental Association, and serves on a committee of the American Equilibration Society. She also volunteers to treat pediatric patients through her local dental society.

Michelle Lee DDS

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