Home > General > PPD Magazine Editorial – Mark Cronshaw

PPD Magazine Editorial – Mark Cronshaw

I really enjoyed reading Mark Cronshaw’s editorial piece in PPD magazine so I asked him to send me the text so we could repeat it here. Well worth a read.

Fractured teeth and restorations, sensitivity and acute pain, loose teeth, abnormal wear, bone loss. Difficulty chewing, atypical facial pain, TMJ breakdown and the list goes on. There are those (including myself) who believe this condition is directly related to frequent headaches, neck and shoulder pain, tinnitus, vertigo and more. An impressive list of important disorders – and the likely cause of these many problems is…? Of course the answer is occlusion.

This very important subject is rarely, if ever, taught at undergraduate level and yet it underpins the dynamics of many dental problems, as well as perhaps being the prime driver behind a range of medical problems that our medical colleagues frankly don’t have a clue as to how best to manage. Sadly I am consistently astonished at the epidemic of untreated occlusal disease I discover amongst my patients. I am of the firm opinion that there are more than a few within our profession unaware of a problem that affects a substantial proportion of the patient problems they encounter on a daily basis. I find this disturbing and I think it is high time that something was done about it: training on occlusion deserves to be a mandatory area of study. Occlusal disease has a marked detrimental impact on patients and to practice dentistry without a knowledge of occlusion is like driving a car whilst wearing a blindfold. I regard it as appalling that a proper appreciation of occlusion is not a core subject for all dentists, therapists and hygienists.

Dentistry as a profession has moved far away from the days of carpentry and I view myself as an oral physician as much as a surgeon. With the latest technology such as lasers and CADCAM along with a modern proactive evidence based preventive approach to practice there has never been a more interesting time to be a dentist.

The future for dentistry in the UK ought to be very bright, notwithstanding the current difficult financial circumstances we are in one of the few areas in the economy which can confidently predict year on year growth for the foreseeable future. Properly informed patients tend to make good health choices and select according to value rather than price.  Opportunity for growth in private practice is immense and for anyone thinking of leaving the NHS behind them the future looks very bright. Clinical outcome however is key and for that reason such a basic problem as occlusal disease really should be confronted by the profession as a matter of urgency. Now is the time to put our house in order and to lead rather than be led by the lawyers! 

Mark Cronshaw

The UK’s leading dental laser trainer, Mark practises at Amery Dental Practice, Cowes Isle of Wight



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