Orofacial Pain is the emerging dental specialty concerned with the diagnosis and management of pain and dysfunction of the motor and sensory aspects of the trigeminal nerve system. Previously this area of practice was referred to as temporomandibular disorders (TMDs); however, current evidence indicates that many patients have signs and symptoms outside of the masticatory system that directly affect their orofacial pain complaints. Orofacial Pain practitioners routinely deal with patients whose head, neck, shoulder or systemic conditions masquerade as facial pain. The modern practice of Orofacial Pain requires a distinctly unique blend of knowledge and skills in order to deal with a patient population that frequently "falls between the cracks" of traditional dental and medical practices.
NPDS Orofacial Pain Center Exam Form
Physical Self-Regulation Patient Handout
The Orofacial Pain Department offers a five day continuing education course through the Naval Postgraduate Dental Course (NPDS). The dates, summary and objectives of the course can be found via the Bethesda CE course listing.
In July 2001, the Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS) opened the military’s first Orofacial Pain advanced training program. The program’s curriculum is based on the training guidelines of the American Board of Orofacial Pain and the International Association for the Study of Pain. The 24 or 36 month residency provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of the physiology of pain and offers a wide variety of clinical experiences through both the NPDS Orofacial Pain Center and specialty rotations in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The graduate will receive a residency certificate upon graduation, along with a Masters in Oral Biology degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Upon successful completion of the residency, individuals are eligible to challenge the American Board of Orofacial Pain. Although previous residency training is not a prerequisite, the majority of current orofacial pain providers have completed a prior residency program.
Orofacial Pain Residency Program
The Orofacial Pain program accepts one to two individuals per year, or as needed, and is open to all federal service dentists. Non-Navy dentists are encouraged to apply. For further information about the Orofacial Pain residency contact us.