Dr David Lerner's Story
My evolution as a holistic dentist really began way before I had thought of becoming a dentist. It began when I was a kid. When I was going to the dentist I would always have lots of cavities. It seemed every checkup there were more mercury silver fillings to be placed. Then I needed braces. Because I had lost a tooth (a premolar) in my lower jaw due to an accident, the orthodontist decided to close the space by bringing my teeth all the way over to in front from the right to the left. My teeth ended up looking straight but my jaw was crooked.
I had difficult time in school, every one told me I was an underachiever. Today they might have recognized that I had a learning disability. I had difficulty processing information that I would read; a form of dyslexia – but more on that latter. I also had a difficult time with sports as I had poor coordination. Years later I was to discover that this all had a lot to do with the conditions in my mouth and how the rest of my body was being influenced by it.
After my graduation with honors from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1978, I started to experience headaches and neck discomfort. It turned out to be related to the misalignment of my jaw. In the summer of 1980 I got a biteplate and some physical therapy and all seemed ok. My treating dentist was Dr Richard Pertes who now runs the Department of Craniofacial Pain at the New Jersey School of Dentistry and Medicine. Dick introduced me to Dr Harold Gelb, a pioneer in the multi disciplinary treatment of temporomandibular disorders. I was fortunate to work in Dr Gelb’s office as an associate for 18 months.
It was during that time that My wife and I were living in Ossining. One winter there was a pretty good snow storm. Being newlywed we had not yet acquired all the accouterments of a suburban household and did not have a snow shovel. My car needed to be dug out of the snow. All I could find was a frying pan, and so it went.
I injured my back, causing a subluxation between my lower lumbar spine and my sacrum. I was in a lot of pain. What made matters worse was that I could not find a practitioner who knew how to treat me. I saw chiropractors, physicians, and physical therapists. Not one could provide any relief. As time when on the pain got worse and spread over more of my body. Eventually I had jaw pain, face pain, head pain, neck pain, and upper & lower back pain. I had pain shooting down my leg. It didn’t matter if I stood, sat, or laid down; the pain was unrelenting and wore me down.
Eventually I met a chiropractor who was an expert in the use of Applied Kinesiology and Sacral- Occipital Technique. Applied Kinesiology is a biofeedback technique that uses the phenomenon of muscle reflex testing discovered by Dr George Goodheart back in the mid 60s. It allows a practitioner to diagnose disorders of the musculo skeletal precision with great efficiency and precision. Sacral-Occipital Technique is a method of analysis of treatment of imbalances of the skull and sacrum developed by Dr. Major Dejarnette.
From that very first visit with this chiropractic kinesiologist I started to experience relief. I was intrigued by his technique and started to attend chiropractic seminars on Applied Kinesiology and SOT technique to study how to apply them in my dental practice.
Though I was getting great relief from pain, I still wasn’t feeling quite right and began to look elsewhere for additional answers. I experienced fatigue, and had poor digestion. I went to a dentist named Bob Poritsky who I knew practiced nutritional therapy. Bob was studying an interesting form of diagnosis based on the electrical conductance of acupuncture points. It was known as Electro-Acupuncture according to Voll. (EAV aka Electrodermal screening or EDS). With this method Bob was able to analyze the energetics of my body, gaining insight into the functional capacity of my organs, and determine the likely causes of stress on my system. Bob told me that a major source of stress on my body was from mercury. I had heard of this potential for people to become ill from mercury from their fillings before. I subsequently had my mercury fillings removed and immediately felt some improvement energetically. As it turns out this was all the beginning of what became an odyssey of many years.
I subsequently worked with health practitioners in many different fields all along improving my health and developing an understanding of the role of interdisciplinary health care. Over the years, I continued my study and training seeking to advance my skills in dentistry and keep up with advances in dental technology as well as to broaden and deepen my understanding of the inter-relationships between the mouth and the rest of the body.
- Dr. David Lerner D.D.S.
Highlights of DR. Lerner's Education
- Dr. David Lerner graduated in 1978 from Temple University School of Dentistry , and was elected to Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national dental honor society.
- 1978 - 1979 General Practice residency at Westchester County Medical Center.
- 1981 - 1983 Associated with Dr. Harold Gelb, a world renowned pioneer in the field of TMJ Disorders.
- 1982 Studied the relationships of the Head, Neck and Dentistry with Mariano Rocabado RPT.
- 1982 Began training in Myofascial Release Therapy with John Barnes RPT.
- 1982 - present The study of Biological Dentistry. Introduced to the work of Reinhold Voll. M.D.
- 1982 - present Training in Applied Kinesiology with George Goodheart DC, and Herb Anderson DC and others.
- 1982 Studied with Dr. Helmut Schimmel, M.D., D.D.S., who was the originator of the VEGA technique of Electro- Acupuncture.
- 1986 - 1987 Began training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy with John Upledger DO. Studied the Dental Management of Mercury Toxicity with Hal Huggins D.D.S. Oral Acupuncture with Joachim Gleiditsch, D.D.S. M.D.
- 1988 - present Training in Neuromuscular Dentistry.
- 1989 - 1992 Completed a 24 month course of study in Functional Orthopedics and Straight Wire Orthodontics.
- 1993 - 1994 Graduate of The Advanced Continuing Education Program in the Diagnosis and Management of Orofacial Pain and Tempromandibular Disorders at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
- 1995 - 1997 Completed 300 hour Physician course of training in Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine at the Tri-State Institute of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture.
- 1996 - 20002 Engaged in advanced studies in the treatment of TMJ disorders through Cranial-Mandibular Whole Body Integration under the mentorship of Jim Jecman, D.D.S.
- 2001 Trained in the advanced principles of Cosmetic Dentistry at New York University’s Rosenthal Center.
- 2002-2003 Earned his Fellowship at the Institute of Natural Dentistry.
"I have been a patient of Dr. Lerner for a few years and have nothing but the highest praise for him. He is a true visionary. An artist and a master of his chosen profession -Holistic Dentistry. He and his staff deeply care for each patient on all levels, not just their teeth. The time and attention given is remarkable in this day and age. I gladly travel an hour each way to get such care. - T. Halsey, Larchmont N. Y.