The Orofacial Pain Fellowship Program
The Orofacial Pain Fellowship Program is a one-year certificate program specifically designed for dentists who wish to gain a broad-based experience in the field of orofacial pain.
Our educational philosophy is to create a collegial atmosphere which is conducive to learning but which is challenging, provocative, and one based on the development of critical thinking skills in clinical and scholarly activities. To achieve these goals, we provide a broad diversity of didactic and clinical experiences in the area of temporomandibular disorders, orofacial pain, oral medicine and dental management of sleep apnea.
The Orofacial Pain Fellowship Program is a one-year certificate program beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following year. The goal of the Orofacial Pain Fellowship Program is to assist the participant in acquiring a basic understanding of the diagnosis and management of temporomandibular disorders, complex orofacial pain problems, oral medicine and sleep apnea. The Fellow participates in the three areas of study highlighted below.
The Didactic Component. The Orofacial Pain Fellow attends all weekly seminars, case presentations and literature review sessions offered by the Center. He or she has the opportunity to enroll in a variety of Master’s Degree courses offered throughout the year, according to the Fellow’s interest. Course contents include oral biology, oral pathology, neuroanatomy, growth and development, pain physiology, craniomandibular biomechanics, masticatory function and dysfunction, pharmacology, imaging techniques and statistics. Lectures are also presented by specialists in psychology, rheumatology, rehabilitative medicine, otolaryngology, neurology, anesthesiology, headache, oral medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery and physical therapy.
The Clinical Component. The Orofacial Pain Fellow observes and assists faculty members and residents in the evaluation and management of the orofacial pain, oral medicine and sleep apnea patients seen in the Center. Approximately 50% of the Fellow’s scheduled time is spent participating in the clinical management of patients. The program employs a medical-biopsychosocial model for the diagnosis and management of orofacial pain rather than emphasizing manual dental skills to alter dental structures. Emphasis is placed on proper diagnosis and multidisciplinary treatment strategies with medical consultation when necessary. Pharmacologic, psychologic, and physical therapies are combined with intraoral orthopedic appliances to routinely manage the orofacial pain patient. Various diagnostic and therapeutic injection techniques are also used when appropriate.
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. Therefore, superior and fluent English language skills and comprehension are essential. The Orofacial Pain Fellow will need to demonstrate superior verbal and comprehension skills in order to have the opportunity to actively participate in the clinical assessment and management of patients. Participation of the Orofacial Pain Fellow in the clinic will be determined by successfully completing a clinical competency given by the Program Director and the Clinic Director.
The Research Component. The Fellow will write a review article on a topic related to temporomandibular disorders and/or orofacial pain. The Fellow will select a topic, approved by the Program Director, and research all significant articles related to that topic. This review article will be completed one month prior to the end of the Fellow’s program, and will have to be in a format that is suitable and ready for submission to a peer-reviewed Journal. In some instances, the Fellow may have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research efforts in the Center. The degree of participation will be determined by the availability and type of ongoing research activity at the time. The Director of Research will determine the degree of participation of the Fellow.
Tuition. The Fellowship Program is provided through the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. The fellowship fee for this one-year program for the 2011-2012 academic year is $14,500.00. Enrollment in the University of Kentucky Graduate School is required. Each semester the Fellow will be enrolled in a minimum of one credit hour course in the Graduate School and the Fellow will be responsible for paying this tuition in addition to the fellowship fee. The amount will be determined by the Graduate School. The tuition rate for the academic year 2010-11 is $488 for KY residents and $1037 for non-residents per credit hour per semester (or a minimum of $976 and $2074.00 per year, respectively).
Admission Requirements. Each Orofacial Pain Fellowship candidate must return a completed on line Fellowship application, with dental school transcripts and two letters of recommendation by October 1 of the year prior to the beginning of the program. A visit to the Center for an interview is normally requested by the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee will notify the candidate of his or her acceptance by December 1. If accepted, candidates originating from a country where English is not the primary language must also pass the internet based TOEFL or IELTS examination.
Admission to the Orofacial Pain Certificate Program is based on the following criteria:
- Official dental school transcript
- Letters of recommendation
- Essay included in the application form
- Interview process
- National Board Dental Examination scores (when available)
- Internet based TOEFL or IELTS examination score for those candidates who originate from a country where English is not the primary language
- Findings of the admissions committee
The Admissions Committee is composed of the Orofacial Pain Faculty members who will meet to discuss all candidates and select the most qualified candidate(s) by consensus.The selection process for the Orofacial Pain Fellowship Program follows the same non discriminatory policy endorsed by the University of Kentucky. This policy can be found at
If you wish to apply to the Orofacial Pain Fellowship program, complete the College of Dentistry application form and submit it either on-line or mail it to the following address:
Jeffrey P. Okeson, DMD
Director, Orofacial Pain Program
University of Kentucky
College of Dentistry
800 Rose Street, D142
Lexington, KY 40536-0297