TMJ and Airway-Directed Orthodontic Treatment: The Important Role of Orthodontics in Management of TMJ and Airway Issues (4.0 CE Credits)

Friday, September 29, 2023 | Grace Church, 9301 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55437

Recent advancements in technology and research have allowed dentists to understand the role underlying conditions, including temporomandibular joint and airway disorders, play in the development of malocclusion. Armed with this knowledge, orthodontists have a unique opportunity to not only determine the root cause(s) of the malocclusions we see in our practices, but to also contribute to the design of interdisciplinary treatment plans directed at benefiting TMJ and airway health and stability. Through case presentations and overview of current research, this lecture will provide a complete picture on how to use CBCT and MRI
technologies to identify, diagnose, and categorize patients prior to treatment. There will also be heavy focus on how to sequence treatment based on TMJ and airway condition, and design patient-specific therapy to maintain the health of the TMJ and airway for the long-haul.

Seminar objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the signs of TMJ and disorders in our everyday patients, and the role that TMJ disorders play in the development of their malocclusion and airway issues.
  • Know when to order appropriate diagnostic imaging, including CBCT and MRI, to diagnose TMJ
  • Categorize patients by risk level pertaining to their diagnosed TMJ and airway
  • Create patient-specific treatment plans that address TMJ and airway issues before, during and after orthodontic treatment /occlusion correction to promote health and stability.


7:30 a.m.     Breakfast
8:30 a.m.     Lecture
10:00 a.m.   Break & Refreshments
12:30 p.m.   Adjournment

Speaker: Dr. Drew McDonald

Dr. Drew McDonald is a board-certified orthodontic specialist in the Northeast Heights of Albuquerque, NM. His orthodontic practice has a strong focus on temporomandibular joint and airway-focused treatment planning, surgically-facilitated orthodontic treatment, and providing complex interdisciplinary care for patients. He has lectured nationally and internationally on multiple topics.

Dr. McDonald is a University of New Mexico alum and went on to attend Creighton University for his dental training where he graduated cum laude. Dr. McDonald completed his orthodontic residency at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, also receiving his master’s degree for his thesis on sports mouthguard design and effects on muscle forces and joint loading of the TMJ complex. Dr. McDonald practiced as a private practice restorative dentist for three years before receiving his orthodontic specialist certificate.

Away from dentistry, Dr. McDonald enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a minimally talented, yet very enthusiastic, golfer.