Two-Year Orofacial Pain Master’s Program

Orofacial Pain is that branch of dentistry which involves the basic mechanisms and principles of diagnosis and management of pain and dysfunction associated with the hard and soft tissues of the head, face, neck, and all the intraoral structures. Within the diagnostic range are headaches, and musculoskeletal, neurogenic, and psychogenic pains.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD), a collective term embracing a number of clinical problems specifically related to the masticatory musculature, the temporomandibular joints and associated structures, or both are also included in the field of orofacial pain.

To become competent in the practice of orofacial pain, the post graduate student must gain a current working knowledge of the basic and clinical science of general and orofacial pain, be competent to perform a proper assessment of patients including history taking and physical examination, and develop a management plan. The management plan must be evidence-based and consistent with standards of care set forth by the scientific literature.

Orofacial pain evaluation and treatment is often a shared responsibility between the dentist and physician and considerable overlap exists between the two professions that is distinguished only by the individual's knowledge and training. We believe that training in oral medicine, which involves the diagnosis and primarily nonsurgical management of local diseases of the oral cavity and surrounding structures as well as oral manifestations of systemic disease, also provides an essential link between the dental and medical practitioner. Based on this philosophy, significant areas of oral medicine are also incorporated into the orofacial pain training programs to enable students in this field to have a challenging opportunity to integrate and synthesize basic science and clinical knowledge and apply this information to the field of pain management.

This program is  CODA accredited and awards a Master’s degree through the Department of Oral Biology.