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Educational Opportunities

The Piper Education and Research Center is dedicated to the highest standards of post doctoral education.  Educational opportunities for students include lecture courses, hands-on seminars, clinical case analysis and development, treatment team development, educator development, individual and group clinical research projects, scientific programs, focal study groups, regional study group hosting, and individualized fellowships.  We will redefine your understanding about the temporomandibular joint irrespective of your background or beliefs.  Our overall goal is to enhance the outcome of treatment for your patients by empowering you with knowledge and skill.

Consult this overview to orient to our courses and opportunities.  You may see more detailed course descriptions linked to the Courses Offered sub pages.  We have divided our curriculum into “Facility” lectures and seminars, “Online” courses, and “Appearances” elsewhere.  Our Facility courses are comprehensive lecture and hands-on seminars that teach all of the necessary skills to practice Joint Based Dentistry and modern pain management.  Our Online courses include written treatises and streaming video files on specific topics.  Under Appearances you will find our national and international seminars.  For your convenience this section also lists Dr. Piper’s speaking engagements at national meetings.  You may wish to explore our Online Store which has written materials, posters, clinical forms, course manuals, and DVD’s.  You must be a Registered Member of this web site in order to sign up for any coursework or to order any other educational materials.

How to Begin:  “Comprehensive TMJ Science

We have designed our curriculum to start with our seminar on Comprehensive TMJ Science (formerly Piper Seminar I).   Although this is the starting point, do not be fooled into thinking that this is an introductory level course.  In fact Comprehensive TMJ Science is fast paced and is designed to be a complete treatise on the subjects of temporomandibular disorders, facial pain, and Joint Based Occlusion.  This course takes students from basic sciences through diagnosis and treatment.  Most of our doctors say that they finally are able to understand the joint and the occlusion after taking Comprehensive TMJ Science, and they are prepared to tackle most patients.  Any doctor who takes this course will have all of the background material needed to develop the TMJ and facial pain part of their practice, and they will be able to understand the probabilities of occlusal success.

Flexibility of the PERC Curriculum

After taking Comprehensive TMJ Science doctors can customize their pathways through the PERC curriculum.  For better skill development in reading CAT and MRI scans the next choice would be Advanced TMJ Science and Case Studies (formerly Piper II).  This course also includes detailed discussion of Piper Clinic cases.  Those doctors seeking a greater in depth analysis of bite abnormalities in TMJ patients should consider taking the course on Joint Based Occlusion.  If a doctor is comfortable with reading scans and wants to get into more esoteric cases and treatment then they may attend Complex Joint Based Occlusion Cases (formerly Piper III) and learn more about diagnostic nerve blocks and detailed patient analysis. There is no limit to the number of times that a registrant may attend the case courses as the case studies will automatically change each year.  This is also an excellent opportunity to get back in touch or to review the concepts of patient management when doctors have been out of the program for an extended time.  These case study courses are also designed to be an excellent annual refresher.

The PERC curriculum has been expanded to offer more online home based learning.  Starting in the autumn of 2006, doctors may subscribe to any of three monthly case studies:  MRI of the Month, CAT Scan of the Month, or Clinical Case Study of the Month.  In addition we are offering key Topic Videos for individual purchase.  At PERC there is never an excuse for falling behind on new concepts and skills. 

Recommended Goals and Curriculum Options

PERC offers numerous tracks for training.  We can streamline any curriculum to meet the needs of our students.  Below we have listed a few of the suggested tracks that can be considered by mixing Facility and Online courses.  Alternative if you are a “stay at home” learner then we have suggested options from our Online Courses and our Online Store.

Basics of TMJ, Facial Pain, and Joint Based Occlusion:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science Facility course.

Continue:
Advanced TMJ Science and Case Studies Facility course.

Maintain:
Case of the Month Online course subscription.



Expertise in Reading CT and MRI Scans:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science Facility course.
Sequential Anatomy of the Temporomandibular Joint topic DVD.


Continue:
Advanced TMJ Science and Case Studies Facility course.
TMJ MRI Orientation Online Store topic video.


Maintain:
MRI of the Month Online course subscription.
CT of the Month Online course subscription.




Expertise in Joint Based Occlusion:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science Facility course.

Continue:
Joint Based Occlusion Facility course.
Referral Patient Clinical Tutorial.


Maintain:
Complex Joint Based Occlusion Cases Facility course.
Case of the Month Online course subscription.




Expertise in Patient Care and Study Group Leaders:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science Facility course.

Continue:
Advanced TMJ Science and Case Studies Facility course.
Referral Patient Clinical Tutorial.
Joint Based Occlusion Facility course.


Maintain:
Complex Joint Based Occlusion Cases Facility course.
Case of the Month Online course subscription.
MRI of the Month Online course subscription.
CT of the Month Online course subscription.




Ultimate Experts:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science Facility course.
Sequential Anatomy of the Temporomandibular Joint topic DVD. Referral Patient Clinical Tutorial.


Continue:
Advanced TMJ Science and Case Studies Facility course.
Joint Based Occlusion Facility course.
MRI of the Month Introduction topic DVD.
Microsurgical Reconstruction of the TMJ topic DVD.
Patient CRPS Education Video topic DVD.


Maintain:
Complex Joint Based Occlusion Cases Facility course.
Case of the Month Online course subscription.
MRI of the Month Online course subscription.
CT of the Month Online course subscription.




Self Study Basic Skills:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science manual, pocket manual, and poster.
Doppler Diagnosis of Internal Derangements of the TMJ topic DVD.


Continue:
Joint Based Occlusion topic DVD.

Maintain:
Case of the Month course subscription.



Self Study Scan Reading:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science manual, pocket manual, and poster.
Sequential Anatomy of the Temporomandibular Joint topic DVD.


Continue:
MRI of the Month Introduction topic DVD.

Maintain:
MRI of the Month course subscription
CT of the Month course subscription.




Self Study Patient Management:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science manual, pocket manual, and poster.
Doppler Diagnosis of Internal Derangements of the TMJ topic DVD.
Sequential Anatomy of the Temporomandibular Joint topic DVD.


Continue:
Joint Based Occlusion manual.
Joint Based Occlusion topic DVD.
Patient CRPS Education Video topic DVD.
MRI of the Month Introduction topic DVD.


Maintain:
MRI of the Month course subscription
CT of the Month course subscription.
Case of the Month course subscription.




Self Study Expert:

Start:
Comprehensive TMJ Science manual, pocket manual, and poster.
Doppler Diagnosis of Internal Derangements of the TMJ topic DVD.
Unstable Occlusion from Temporomandibular Joint Internal Derangement topic DVD.
Sequential Anatomy of the Temporomandibular Joint topic DVD.


Continue:
Joint Based Occlusion manual.
Joint Based Occlusion topic DVD.
MRI of the Month Introduction topic DVD.
Microsurgical Reconstruction of the TMJ topic DVD.
Patient CRPS Education Video topic DVD.


Maintain:
MRI of the Month course subscription
CT of the Month course subscription.
Case of the Month course subscription.




Option for Patient, Doctor, and Staff:

Clinical Patient Tutorial

Every month PERC and the Piper Clinic provide an opportunity for doctors and a single staff person to participate in the comprehensive new patient experience during a Clinical Patient Tutorial.  Doctors will track their patient through the entire workup from history and exam to study cast analysis, CAT scan, MRI scan, and formulation with recommendations.  This will allow you to benchmark your practice and skills against the Piper Clinic.  Most Clinical Patient Tutorials are scheduled to coincide with other PERC Facility courses.

Team Development

The Piper Clinic has had a long standing affiliation with doctors from every specialty in dentistry.  We know the value of having common backgrounds and philosophies, and we encourage development of treatment teams of specialists within the same community.  Everything that we teach at PERC is of value to any dental specialist.  Our courses have also benefited chiropractors, radiologists, otolaryngologists, and medical pain doctors.  We have hosted registered nurses, physician assistants, dental assistants, medical assistants, physical therapists, and dental technicians.  Our goal is to provide a common knowledge and evaluation base.  We also discount teams of three or more students from the same community attending courses together.

Advanced Opportunities

At PERC we have answered the requests of our graduates to offer more advanced opportunities.  Those who have completed our four facility courses are truly the leaders in their community, and we invite them to host a PERC Study Group to assist in the education of fellow doctors.  We offer research and fellowship opportunities for dentists, physicians, and students.  Our most accomplished graduates are invited to participate in our annual PERC Platinum Study Group.  In addition practitioners with advanced clinical expertise may qualify for our I.D.E.A.L. program.  Descriptions of each of these opportunities follow.  Please Contact us for questions about eligibility.

PERC Study Groups

PERC Study Groups offer an excellent opportunity to advance the concepts of Joint Based Occlusion and Joint Based Dentistry to any community.  Our study groups are a little different from others.  We require qualified group leaders, and they must complete our four Facility seminars and participate in additional education at PERC each year.  Participants are not required to have attended any of the courses at PERC.  This is an excellent opportunity to introduce other doctors to PERC philosophies.  After acceptance of an application, we will then supply all of the course materials and learning objectives.  Our study group monthly meetings follow a traditional academic year of September through May, and upon completion, each participant will receive up to 27 hours of continuing education credits.  Our goal is to continue the tiers of study group education for each year of participation.  Study groups are licensed by the number of participants.  More active study groups may sponsor an appearance by Dr. Piper for a Joint Based Dentistry community seminar day followed by a private study group day.  Please Contact us for further information or for an application.

Research Opportunities:

Our PERC Research Department is headed by Andrea Eiring, PA.  Ms. Eiring is a former research scientist and statistician from Vanderbilt University, and she was employed for a number of years as Dr. Piper’s Physician Assistant.  Her familiarity with the concepts of Joint Based Occlusion is a very strong asset.  Ms. Eiring is available for personal consultation for research study design and statistical analysis.  She is able to offer professional guidance for project completion and publication. 

PERC research projects can be designed for individual offices, or alternatively participants may work out of the Piper Clinic.  Summer opportunities exist for college, dental, and medical school students to participate in clinical research.  Prior students in this program have won competitive professional research awards.  Established doctors may also design a program of nearly any length to investigate a topic of concern.  PERC maintains an active list of topics that need to be studied, and we are open to suggestions from others as well.  To inquire further about research opportunities or to request an application, please communicate with us under Contact.

PERC Fellowship

Six and twelve month fellowship programs are available to qualified doctors desiring further clinical and research exposure.  Although non-accredited, we feel that these programs rival those of many academic institutions.  During the fellowship tenure, participants are expected to complete a major independent research project, and they are observers of the Piper Clinic patients and surgical procedures.  During each fellowship, participants are guests at any of our Facility courses.  For an application or for further information, please Contact us.

PERC Platinum Study Club

Annually the Piper Education and Research Center will induct a limited number of honorees into the PERC Platinum Study Club.  This group represents doctors and other students who have achieved the highest level of patient dedication and educational achievement.  Research and presentation of Joint Based Dentistry concepts are a requirement for induction.  Standards must be maintained annually for continued membership. 

I.D.E.A.L.

There are difficulties that face any solo doctor involved in delivering continuing education.  At PERC we can make this process easier.  In the autumn of 2006, we will be forming our Independent Dental Educators and Leaders (IDEAL) group, by selecting our graduates who are developing and teaching concepts of Joint Based Dentistry.  This group of doctors will have no restrictions on teaching at other facilities, but they will become the foundation for a limited fraternity of PERC doctors involved in redefining dentistry throughout the 21st century.  Please let us know of your interest, and we will forward an application and further information regarding qualifications and admission.

Dental and Post Doctoral Students

There is no current educational standard for training pre or post doctoral students about disorders of the temporomandibular joint.  The subject is all but ignored in traditional medical training.  Dental schools have no set curriculum or educational objectives for temporomandibular disorders.  There is no standard for departmentalization of the topic, and depending upon the individual school, the temporomandibular joint may be covered by any specialty department, or worse yet, not at all.  Furthermore, even in schools with dedicated facial pain or TMD clinics, there is a lack of interdepartmental communication and treatment standardization.

We strongly encourage new graduates to attend our courses as early in their career as possible.  PERC will make a major difference in your ability to practice with confidence.  We also believe that habits can become ingrained quite quickly, and we would like to influence your development at the beginning or your career.  Please take the time to view the testimonials of some of the older graduates who have waited later in their career to attend our courses.  We also appeal to dental students to explore our information as their clinical concepts are developing.  It is never too early to learn proper diagnosis and treatment.

PERC is able to offer discounting for Facility courses for dental students and for recent graduates.  For the cost of course fundamentals, we invite dental students and post doctoral students to attend Comprehensive TMJ Science on a first come, first served basis.  We are also able to discount our Facility courses for recent graduates who are in the first year of practice.  Please Contact us for further information.



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