Alberta Dental Association Problems?

Dentist Continuing Education Linked to Over-Treatment of Unsuspecting Patients

'Neuromuscular' Dentistry Banned in Two Canadian Provinces (NOT IN ALBERTA) - Victims Taking Action

PRESS RELEASE  UPDATED: AUG 7, 2019 12:00 CDT






















A victim of 'neuromuscular' dentistry speaks out about her experience and searches for others harmed- YOUTUBE

RED DEER, Alberta, August 7, 2019 (Newswire.com) - ​​​​​Dentist-author of the banned book Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist says dental patients often had whole mouths over-drilled by dentists taught 'neuromuscular dentistry' at dental lab-sponsored continuing education programs. Two Canadian provinces have now banned the 'neuromuscular' technique for treatment of headaches and full mouth reconstruction and more are expected to follow. Dr. Michael Zuk suggests all dental boards and colleges across North America should consider similar action to address the concerns of over-treatment by many experts in the field.

The Alberta dentist has been fighting for change in the dental profession and applauds Ontario and Manitoba for finally making a stand. Zuk says the problem has persisted for over two decades because of a close relationship between a large Canadian dental lab, a dentist seminar series based in Las Vegas and the dental board and college in Nevada and Alberta. He says, "The authority in Alberta tried to cool the program by policing advertising but this failed to protect patients and address the root cause." This is truly a story of cross-border abuse with dentists from out of state being encouraged to fly their patients for drilling lessons in Las Vegas, based on a 'neuromuscular' philosophy that many say has been used as an excuse to 'do a lot of unnecessary dental treatment.' He says malpractice coverage would usually not extend outside the dentist's home province or state, and both the dentist and the patients were likely unaware this technicality put them at greater risk. The whistle-blower says his warning to the Alberta authority was ignored and many continue to be harmed by unnecessary procedures to this day.

One of dentistry's biggest advocates against 'neuromuscular' (NM) dentistry, Dr. Peter Dawson, passed away in July 2019 but not before he made many statements warning dentists not to use the 'NM' technique based on the use of a TENS unit that presumably pulses muscles into the 'perfect bite.' Dr. Edwin J Zinman, a San Francisco dentist-lawyer specializing in dental malpractice, refers to the seminar series on his website and told Zuk that he had handled a large number of these cases. The lawyer's website states, "Over-treatment with excess number of crowns is tempting for some since crowns are the big ticket in a dentist's profit statement."

Victims of over-treatment related to neuromuscular dentistry are comparing stories on Facebook support groups, including one named Tina's Bill Proposal, and are taking action - including recording confrontations with dental boards that seem to neglect their concerns, and proposals to state regulators including Governor Sisolak of Nevada to force dental boards to address victim concerns and expose conflicts of interest. Dental patients who feel they have been harmed by unnecessary procedures should consult with their local dental authority or a malpractice lawyer.


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What Alberta dental patients need to know about the 'neuromuscular dentistry' fad:


  1. ​'Neuromuscular' dentistry is believed by many experts to be a scientifically unverified approach that often leads to excessive treatment. Dentists trained in this approach use a TENS device to relax the muscles and then claim to be able to find the 'perfect bite'. Critics suggest the treatment is no better than a placebo and treatment can cost $60,000. 
  2. The Alberta authority seems ill-prepared to handle complaints regarding this type of treatment. One patient was recently told it could take ONE YEAR to process her complaint. 
  3. Lawyers do NOT seem to understand the harm caused by full mouth drilling. There are lawsuits in progress and further details will be provided at a later date. 
  4. Typically a patient who believes they have been misled into a suspect course of treatment by a 'neuromuscular dentist' should consider a consultation with a prosthodontist (specialist). Under no circumstances would it be wise to seek the care of a different 'NM' dentist. 
  5. The lifetime costs of repairs for unnecessary treatment can be substantial. 
  6. The Alberta Dental authority has had concerns with 'NM' dentistry for many years but instead of addressing the cause- questionable continuing education promoted by a large dental lab- it decided to regulate terminology used by dentists on their websites that may tend to attract them to cosmetic dentistry which was a popular interest of many 'NM' dentists. This 'word policing' did not protect patients and 'neuromuscular; dentistry was not only misapplied to aesthetic care. Many patients with TMJ/Migraines/Headaches/worn teeth were led to believe 'NM' dentistry was cutting edge when in fact it is NOT RECOGNIZED and NOT APPROVED in several provinces. 
  7. The Alberta Dental Association & College awarded the main promoter of 'Neuromuscular' dentistry with an honorary membership so it appears the authority has been reluctant to insult it's former primary advertiser. Fortunately the dental lab has reduced the promotion of this program but it continues to be associated with the questionable approach. 
  8. 'Neuromuscular' dentistry is simply one of many fads that may lead to unnecessary treatment. There are other misleading terms trending such as 'holistic' dentistry and biomimetic dentistry. Not all words associated with harmful approaches have been policed and a simple GOOGLE search will find many misleading terms and claims that could suggest the treatment is appropriate. 
  9. A mystery call found the Alberta dental authority stating 'neuromuscular' dentistry was acceptable and stated it was not in the business of regulating approaches used by Alberta dentists. Health Canada stated it was in fact the Alberta Dental Authority's concern. 
  10. Just because a dentist has attended 'neuromuscular' seminars does not mean he/she will use questionable protocols on patients, but there is a higher chance over-treatment will occur than average. 
  11. Any correspondence with the Alberta Dental authority should be recorded for reference. 
  12. Concerns with the performance of the ADA&C in protection of the public, especially related to treatment by 'neuromuscular dentists' should be directed to the Alberta Health Minister. The Minister has the power to insist on an audit of the dental authority to help expose problems that have persisted for decades and allowed this breach of public trust to occur.