TMD and Orofacial Pain program curriculum
During the first summer of graduate study, the academic program in Orofacial Pain focuses on several areas: acquisition of solid research skills, introduction to anatomy of the head and neck, physical evaluation, and overview of the theory and principles of orofacial pain. The didactic coursework is as follows:
- Head and Neck Anatomy
- Physical Diagnosis and Evaluation
- Seminars in Orofacial Pain
- Principles of Research in Orofacial Pain (Current Literature)
- Orofacial Pain Clinic
- U of MN – Karolinska Institute Pain Course (1 week every other year)
During the following semesters, students take more in-depth courses related to orofacial pain, as well as continue with additional coursework in related areas. They continue to work in literature review and orofacial pain seminars in each semester and will take thesis credits.
- Seminars in Orofacial Pain
- Orofacial Pain: Current Literature
- Orofacial Pain Clinic
- Thesis credits
Other courses include:
- TMD Mini-residency (3-day CE course offered to general dentists)
- Clinical Interviewing (early fall Year 1)
- Methods in Research and Writing (Fall Year 1)
- Teaching and Evaluation in Dentistry (Fall Year 1)
- Oral Medicine (Fall Year 1)
- Psychological Issues in Orofacial Pain (Fall Year 1)
- Neurobiology of Pain and Analgesia (Fall - every two years)
- Advanced Topics in Orofacial Pain (Spring - every two years)
- Orofacial Pain: Advanced Theory and Principles (Spring - every two years)
- Biostatistics (Summer Year 2)
- Clinical Oral Pathology (Fall and Spring Year 2)
- Principles of Management in Health Services Organizations (Fall Year 2)
All students will be attending the Orofacial Pain Clinic during each semester of both two years. Rotations through other clinics are arranged during the summer and fall of the second year of study and are part of the clinic course in Orofacial Pain.
The clinic course is a major course for all students. Students spend 4 full days per week in the clinic. They mostly observe patients and faculty members during the first summer. During this time they work on clinical interviewing skill acquisition, head and neck examination skills, and gaining other diagnostic skills. They also begin to work with splints (insertion and adjustment), physical medicine techniques, health psychology and pharmacotherapy during this time. Residents are also exposed to the management of sleep disordered breathing with oral appliances throughout the two years of their residency. In the fall of the first year students will begin seeing their own patents, supervised by faculty. At this time they must begin keeping track of patients seen and procedures performed in order to acquire the number and types of experiences necessary to meet program standards.
Conditions managed in OFP Clinic
The knowledge base includes diagnosis and management of:
- neuropathic orofacial pain disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia, atypical facial pain and burning mouth syndrome,
- primary headache disorders such as tension type and migraine headaches,
- other neurovascular disorders such as cluster headache, hemicranias continua and medication overuse headache,
- chronic regional pain syndromes (I and II),
- masticatory, cervical, and upper shoulder neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders such as myofascial pain, muscle spasm, and contracture,
- temporomandibular joint disorders such as arthralgia, disk displacement and arthritis,
- pain and dysfunction secondary to orofacial trauma, cancer and AIDS and it’s treatment,
- orofacial dyskinesias and dystonias,
- sleep disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea, UARS and snoring,
- other disorders causing persistent pain and dysfunction of the orofacial region.
The services provided include the following with a description below;
- complete clinical history
- a complete head and neck examination
- imaging and laboratory technique and interpretation
- differential diagnosis of orofacial pain disorders
- behavioral and psychosocial assessment and diagnosis
- interdisciplinary treatment planning
- diagnostic and treatment procedures including:
a. craniofacial nerve blocks
b. intramuscular trigger point injections in the masticatory, head and neck muscles
c. physical medicine modalities, therapeutic exercises, and orthotics
d. cognitive-behavioral management strategies,
e. pharmacotherapy and chemical abuse management
f. coordination of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary management strategies
Second year residents spend part of their clinical training in extramural facilities completing rotations. The following is a list of rotations for the Orofacial Pain Residents.
- Chronic Pain Service, Neurology and Acupuncture
- Sleep Medicine
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
All students are required to engage in research activity.
Students who elect to enter the Master of Science Degree Program are expected to develop the study idea, work through the data collection and/or analyses, present their findings at a public defense, and submit for publication in an appropriate scientific journal. They are also required to develop and complete an independent research project under the guidance of a thesis committee approved by the University of Minnesota Graduate School. Students not participating in a Graduate School administered degree program are required to either complete their own research project, or participate in research being conducted be the Orofacial Pain Faculty. Students are also encouraged to develop abstracts for presentation at local, state and national meetings.
This portion of the program gives the student:
- A strong foundation in science and analysis
- Competency in critique of the written literature in the field of TMD and orofacial pain.
- Competency in research design, methodology and scientific writing.