I send hearty congratulations to Deanne, TMJA's project coordinator, and to Danny and Susan of 11th Hour Solutions and the rest of the team for the hard work they put into developing the 2010 TMJ Association website. I’m proud of their work and the final product. I hope you find it easy to navigate and that the information you want is easily accessible.
When Danny said that we had to review all of the information on our previous site, see what is relevant, what needed to be updated and of course, rewritten into friendlier text I thought – sure, no problem – until I realized that the previous site was built in 2000 and every week for the past 10 years we have been adding information to the site so now it encompasses thousands of pages. It’s like the Encyclopedia Britannica of TMJ!
They wouldn’t let me get away without contributing to the effort so I put in my share of time into reviewing content. In life, jobs, projects, etc., there are “aha!” moments and I had one doing this. Going over the years of information what struck me is that the more things change the more they stay the same. What remains the same is that patients are still being treated the same way they were for decades, with treatments lacking scientific rigor being zealously sold to patients and dental organization factions fighting for market share. To acknowledge that they “get it” some now claim that their treatments cure headache, backache, sleep disorders, neurological and cardiovascular disorders, tinnitus, and such all in addition to TMJDs.
When we started out TMJ disorders were all about the teeth and jaws, but over the years there has been an evolutionary change acknowledging the need to approach TMJD research by studying the all the physiological systems of the body as a whole, noting any other medical and pain conditions a person has. This means bringing scientists from multiple disciplines to the TMJD research team as you would when researching other complex conditions. That is the heartening message I came away with. It's as though we stopped a train from coming down a mountain and turned it around so it’s now on its way up. Now research is going in the right direction. But we need more money directed toward TMJDs, more quality scientists from many disciplines to come into the field and we need to translate the latest scientific findings to the patient. Yes, we have much to do, but knowing we are headed into 21st century science makes the task ahead almost pleasant!