Dr. Higdon’s practice for over 30 years has been primarily focused on the non-surgical management of pain and other problems related to the jaw system. In resolving these problems, Dr. Higdon works closely with the patient’s own general dentist but assumes primary responsibility to not only treat the condition but also to coordinate and integrate care when other health care professionals may need to be involved in the management of the patient’s problem.
The jaw system is the most unique, elegant, and complex joint system in the human body. A primary factor that contributes to this uniqueness exists in no other joint system — the presence of teeth and their influence on the function the jaw joints and the jaw muscles. This fact makes the dental profession primarily responsible for the health and treatment of this system. Therefore, jaw problems must be treated by a knowledgeable dentist. There is also an appropriate supportive role for several other professional groups, working as a team with a dentist who has knowledge of the jaw system.
There has historically been a great deal of confusion regarding how “TMJ” problems should be treated. Many patients who have sought help have heard a different story from virtually everyone they have consulted. Ironic as it may seem, a good part of this confusion is the result of the limited training that is provided to dentists and other professionals regarding both the normal and the abnormal function of the jaw system.
Due to limited training in professional education, very few in the health care community have been in a position to provide more than limited treatment for patients with these often poorly understood disorders and related problems with the jaw system, including dental occlusion (bite problems).
Dr. Higdon’s dental career, for over 30 years, has been devoted to this complex and often misunderstood area of dental responsibility. His experience in this field, involving the successful treatment of thousands of patients, is equaled by very few practitioners anywhere in this country or elsewhere. His thorough and comprehensive approach assures a standard of care that is unmatched.