Otolaryngologist to join cadaver workshop at CDA Presents

A popular workshop at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry that uses cone beam computed tomography to preview and identify head and neck anatomy prior to and during dissection will return to the San Francisco convention this fall — with an added element. Joining Homayon Asadi, DDS, and David Hatcher, DDS, as a lecturer will be Nancy Appelblatt, MD.

Appelblatt, an otolaryngologist, has had an abiding interest in sleep and sleep-disordered breathing since the early 1990s and has lectured extensively on sleep-disordered breathing in the U.S. She will bring to the hands-on workshop her perspective and expertise, allowing for a new focus on temporomandibular joint dysfunction and airway-related anatomy and disorders.

“We learn so much from cone beam in terms of the anatomy that I deal with, and cross-culturally with the dentist, that it’s turned out to be very fruitful to look at things from a circumferential point of view,” said Appelblatt, who attended the CDA Presents Anaheim workshop in order to plan her participation as a lecturer at the San Francisco workshop. Although Appelblatt attended in an unofficial capacity, she occasionally contributed to the discussion, and Hatcher observed the value her clinical perspective added to the course.

“Today I noticed we were really able to put the anatomy in clinical context a little better than we did before,” Hatcher said. “Every time we came upon a piece of anatomy we talked about the clinical correlations of that anatomy, including some of the red flags and areas of concern.” For example, anatomic changes can occur when breathing changes over the years and these changes can be seen in some of the soft tissues. “It’s helpful to correlate those changes when looking at the anatomy and at normal or abnormal radiographs,” Appelblatt said.

Workshop attendees, who work in pairs on a half-head cadaver, use real-time CBCT to examine the superficial and deep structures of the face, suprahyoid region, floor of the mouth, neurovascular pathways, masticatory musculature, paranasal sinuses and temporomandibular joint. Real-time computer vision navigation and CBCT are used to guide dissection.

Whereas previous iterations of this workshop, dating back to the inaugural course in fall 2016, concentrated on general head and neck dissection, the workshop this fall will be optimized for sleep medicine, sleep dentistry and TMD and airway issues. Hatcher plans to approach the course again from an imaging point of view — “the kinds of things we can sense using imaging,” he said. As a physician who sees and treats patients, Appelblatt can help “triage patients so that they receive the appropriate treatment once the diagnosis has been made,” Hatcher said of her role in the workshop and dentistry in general. And Asadi is “the anatomist — the glue that puts this all together,” Hatcher said. “He loves anatomy, he loves to teach and he’s good at it.”

“Dr. Asadi is engineering some very clever things here. He’s bringing together disparate experiences to focus on one problem. All of us (Asadi, Hatcher and Appelblatt) work with anatomy but through a different lens,” Hatcher said. “Hopefully, our combined experience and expertise make a good course.”

“We’re all taking care of our patients and we all want the same thing, which is the best for each and every one of them, so from whatever point of view we come at this, we should talk about things more — and that’s what’s going to happen,” Appelblatt added.

“Dental Sleep Medicine, Head and Neck, TMD and Airway Dissection and CBCT Cadaver Workshop” is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Aug. 24, at CDA Presents San Francisco. The three-hour workshop offers 3.0 core units and will repeat at 1:30 p.m.

To learn more about this workshop, watch a video interview with David Hatcher, DDS, and Nancy Appelblatt, MD, on CDA's YouTube channel. Also see the CDA Presents Program that mailed with the June issue of the CDA Journal or view a PDF version of the program. Those who register online by July 25 can save more than 10 percent on this ticketed workshop.