The Orofacial Pain Center at the University of Kentucky was founded in 1977 for the purpose of helping patients suffering with various temporomandibular disorders.
Since that time it has expanded into a multi-disciplinary center for the management of complex orofacial pain problems, including temporomandibular disorders. Patients are routinely evaluated by dentists, clinical psychologists and physical therapists. Medical and dental specialists are called upon regularly to assist in the diagnosis and management of complex pain problems.
In 1997 the University of Kentucky Orofacial Pain Master's Degree Program was nationally accredited by the Post-Graduate Education Committee of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. The Kentucky Program was the first to achieve this national accreditation. The Orofacial Pain Program has become one of the first of three orofacial pain programs in the nation to be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. After a successful site visit in March of 2011, the accreditation became official in October of 2011. The Orofacial Pain Center has been offering education in the areas of temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain since 1985. Presently, the Center offers three full-time graduate training programs and three part-time continuing education programs.
Reny de Leeuw, DDS, PhD, Division Chief
Jeffrey P. Okeson, DMD, Program Director, Director of Education
Elizangela Bertoli, DDS, MS
John Lindroth, DDS
Craig Miller, DMD, MS
Alan Wilkinson, DMD
Charles Carlson, PhD
Lyle Carlson, PhD
Ron Botto, PhD
Anne Harrison, PT, PhD
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved Orofacial Pain Residency Program
The Orofacial Pain Residency Program is a two year program specifically designed for dentists who wish to gain a broad-based experience in the field of orofacial pain. The program includes didactic, clinical and research components.
The Didactic Component
The Didactic Component consists of the following five weekly seminars:
- Two hours of literature review on pain topics
- One hour of literature review on temporomandibular disorders
- One hour reviewing current orofacial pain and TMD literature
- One and one half hours of case conferencing reviewing patients with the orofacial pain faculty, psychology faculty and psychology residents
- One and one half hours seminar dedicated to an orofacial pain topic
The didactic component also includes courses in oral medicine, dental sleep medicine, oral pathology, research design, epidemiology, weekly neurology grand rounds and monthly dental grand rounds. Weekly topic seminars include dental and medical pain specialists in the areas of psychology, radiology, rheumatology, rehabilitative medicine, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, neurology, headache, oral medicine, addiction, dental sleep medicine, behavioral sleep medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery and physical therapy.
The Clinical Component
The Clinical Component of the program consists of approximately 50% of a resident’s time clinically evaluating and managing orofacial pain, oral medicine and sleep apnea patients. The program encourages a medical-biopsychosocial model for the diagnosis and management of orofacial pain rather than manual dental skills to alter dental structures. Emphasis is placed on establishing a proper diagnosis and management plan, including collaborations with appropriate medical specialists. Behavioral, pharmacologic, and physical therapies including injections and / or intraoral orthopedic appliances when appropriate are routinely used to manage orofacial pain patients,
Successful management of pain conditions is based, in part, on the ability of the clinician to obtain a comprehensive history through verbal communication and skillful understanding of the patient’s complaints. If a resident or fellow originates from a country where English is not the primary language, he or she will need to demonstrate superior verbal and comprehension skills in order to actively participate in the clinical assessment and management of patients. The Program Director and the Clinic Director will determine the timing of clinical participation, in consultation with other faculty members.
The Research Component
All Orofacial Pain residents are required to research significant articles related to an approved topic and write a review article suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed Journal. Residents may also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research efforts in the Center, depending on the availability and type of research activity at the time. The Director of Research will determine the degree of research participation for residents and fellows.
Master of Science Orofacial Pain Program
Candidates who are interested in the Master of Science Orofacial Pain Program will complete the admissions requirement for the two year residency program. Once accepted in this program, the candidate can become eligible to extend into the Master of Science Program. The Master’s Program typically adds an additional year (total 3 year program).
The Master of Science Degree Program requires the successful completion of 30 credit hours of graduate courses in the College of Dentistry. In addition, the research component requires each Master of Science Degree candidate to complete a manuscript developed from original research in an area of orofacial pain or temporomandibular disorders. The Degree is awarded after successful completion of all course work, a public defense of the research, and submission of the manuscript to a peer-reviewed Journal.
One Year Fellowship Program
Candidates who are interested in a one year Fellowship Program will complete the same admissions requirement as the two year residency program. These candidates will need to designate their interest in this one year program in the application.