Dr. Scott's Background
My curiosity has taken me to many places and I love being a student. In 1982 I began practicing dentistry in Philadelphia. Even in dental school I was fascinated with complex cases and undiagnosed problems.
In 1986 I took six months off and traveled around the world with my husband and my view of the world expanded. I opened a dental office in downtown Nashville that same year. My patients were all adults with a history of good dental care. I began to see a pattern of unaccountable restoration and tooth failures, bone and soft tissue loss, and chronic head pain. None of the problems were due to decay.
In 1989 I began to focus on solving the problem. I have been fortunate to recognize excellent learning opportunities. I took every course offered by the Pankey Institute and took almost all of the courses offered by doctors Pete Dawson, Henry Gremillion, Frank Spear, John Kois, Parker Mahan, Mark Piper, John Droter and Jeff Okeson.
Collectively this group has helped define the best practices that address TMJ disorders. My focus has been to develop and refine a diagnostic process and treatment protocol for the TMJ patient.
Approaching the "TMJ problem" slowly from an interdisciplinary perspective has helped me see a bigger picture. Narrow viewpoints failed to address all the components of the systems that are connected with the TM joints or span across this same, compact area of the body.
It's a complex process to diagnose. It takes time to treat. There is no generalist for the TMD patient. There was no agreed upon definition of the scope of the field; the depth of knowledge required; and the clinical practices used, but I kept studying.
In 2001, I became a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry having a great many more hours than was required. The Academy had been very helpful and I continued to refine my medical approach and my business model. Finally, the medical, dental, and business development models came together for me in 2003.
I sold my general dentistry practice and opened a TMJ Rehabilitation Practice in a new location. Since then I have offered only TMJ rehabilitation services and my practice is limited to just this area, but my definition of what this area is about has expanded greatly.
In 2017 and especially 2018, I began to study with the AAGO.com, the Academy of Airway and Gnathologic Orthopedics. I have taken many courses offered by the association and the individual members. We agree on the priority of the medical issues; approaches to resolving a variety of interrelated medical and dental problems which include the TM Joints. We emphasize collaboration with our peers and collaboration with specialists in treatment planning.
My practice is ever evolving, but the major leaps seem to have been made. Now we work on better integration into the medical delivery system. My clinical goals are to refine the diagnostic and treatment protocols to improve outcomes, and reduce costs to the patient.
There is still no specialty for TM joint rehabilitation, but there is some clarity now about the about what we are usually dealing with; what other systems are impacted and need attention; and how we might go about treating patients with a variety of symptoms.
The goal is to bring the systems of the skeleton, airway, muscles including the tongue, and the mandible back in harmony with each other, and operating within a normal range so that the body is able to keep up with adaptations as life goes on without outside intervention.
We are committed to refining and establishing standards-based clinical protocols that work with and are acceptable to the medical and dental care systems.
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