Paradigm shift

Over more than fifty years, dental medicine has not been successful in developing concepts for TMD / TMJ that can prove their effectiveness in an evidence-based manner. Evidence is too conservative for it to be accepted into the catalog of services offered by the German National Health Insurances. It searches for mechanical, occlusion-based solutions without having consideration for the whole person in the context of his/her biological development.

Prof. Dr. Paul Watzlawick – When the solution is the problem – YouTube (very amusing and entertaining.), call this “attempts at a solution of the first order”.
Here, basic assumptions are not called into question (mechanical, to remain in the picture) and it is believed the one needs only to refine the diagnostic tools in order to achieve the objective. In the case of TMD / TMJ, the insistence on improving the mechanics (occlusion / temporomandibular joint) could be called a “self-immunizing conjecture”, that is to say: “attempts at a solution that are limited such that the problem itself cannot be resolved.”

What people actually need, on the other hand, are “second-order solutions”: i.e. solutions that question first-order solutions and can overcome these.

This requires some serious intellectual gymnastics (a paradigm shift) and the exponents of the majority opinion in dental medicine are not willing or able to reach this point.

Within the fundamentals as set out by Wilhelm Roux (founder of functional orthopedics), Prof. Frankel, as a developmental biologist and orthodontist, performed these mental-gymnastic feats and made it clear through his research work that the entire person must be considered in the context of his/her development, not only considering the masticatory apparatus. Human development begins at the prenatal stage. If the necessary growth movements do not occur, this has an impact on development. These are muscular inductions (tonic patterns) that, when they develop properly, result in healthy spatiotemporal human growth.
Medicine requires precise knowledge of biological developmental steps to support growth both diagnostically and methodically, i.e. to be able to heal. This knowledge is available (developmental biology) and just needs to be applied.

In this tradition, effective TMD / TMJ therapy with the “Relaktor” can be found, a solution of the “second order” that questions and overcomes assumptions of the first order.

The anthropological focus of dental medicine restricts its view on the key issue of human development, in the context of civilization influences. Children with normal breathing and oral functional spaces have now become the exception. The focus on straightening the teeth, however, overlooks the problem. They are simply a visible expression of limitations (malformation) affecting the entire body. Without a paradigm shift, patients will continue to live with major limitations and will put up with the unnecessary practices of ENT physicians / doctors / pediatricians / orthopedic doctors / manual therapists of all different types, etc. The tragic thing is that once developmental disorders manifest themselves (growth is complete), you can no longer heal these people. At that point, medicine can only alleviate to its best ability. In this regard (compensatory treatment) too, a paradigm shift is also necessary to ensure that some symptoms can be relieved at the very least (TMD / TMJ issue).

The persistent ability of dental medicine to shut itself off from biological knowledge and to explain everything on the basis of occlusion is substantial. Prof. Frankel formulated a very nice criticism of this very fact as many as over 60 years ago.

“Dental medicine is caught up in mechanical thinking”.

This has not changed until today.