James Fricton

Professor Emeritus, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, School of Dentistry

Professor Emeritus, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, School of Dentistry

Faculty Emeritus, Institute for Health Informatics (IHI)

Faculty, Center for Spirituality and Healing (CSH)

UCLA (Anesthesiology and Pain Control), 1980

MS, UCLA (Oral Biology), 1980

BS, University of Iowa (General Science), 1973

Graduate Studies, University of Iowa (Computer Science), 1975

BDDS, University of Iowa (Dentistry), 1978


Dr. Fricton has over thirty years of experience in clinical care, research, and teaching in the field of chronic pain, temporomandibular disorders, and health informatics. He completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and post-graduate studies in Computer Science from the University of Iowa. He also completed a Master's Degree in Oral Biology at UCLA School of Dentistry and an Anesthesiology and Pain Management Residency at UCLA Medical Center. After his research and clinical training at UCLA, he joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota. He maintains an active private practice for patients with TMJ, orofacial, head, and neck pain in Plymouth and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Awards & Recognition

Dr. Fricton has been elected to the governing boards of the American Pain Society, the American Board of Orofacial Pain, and the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. He was appointed to several National Institute of Health study sections as a reviewer. 

Professional Associations

  • Senior Research Investigator, HealthPartners Research Foundation



  • Fricton, J., Oleson, T. Predictors of outcome for treatment of temporomandibular disorders. J Orofacial Pain, 10(1):54-66, 1996.
  • Fricton, J. Atypical orofacial pain disorders: a study of diagnostic subtypes. Current Review of Pain. 4(2):142-7, 2000.
  • Ta, L. E., Dionne, R. A., Fricton, J., Hodges, J. S., Kajander, K. C. SYM-2081 a Kainate receptor antagonist reduces allodynia and hyperalgesia in a freeze injury model of neuropathic pain. Brain Research, 858(1):106-20, 2000.
  • Pehling, J., Schiffman, E., Look, J., Fricton, J., Lenton P. Inter-examiner reliability and clinical validity of the temporomandibular index: a new outcome measure for temporomandibular disorders. J. Orofacial Pain, 16:296-304, 2002.
  • Fricton, J., Look, J. O., Schiffman, E. L., Swift, J., Carlson, P. L. Long term study of TMJ surgery with alloplastic implants compared with non-implant surgery and rehabilitation for painful TMJ disc displacement. J. Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, 60:1400-1411, 2002.
  • Rhodus, N. L., Fricton, J., Carlson, P., Messner, R. Oral symptoms associated with fibromyalgia syndrome. J Rheumatol., 30(8):1841-5, 2003.
  • Fricton, J. Temporomandibular disorders: current mechanisms and links to fibromyalgia. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 8(5):355-363, 2004.
  • Fricton, J. Temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders. Pain: Clinical Updates, 12(2):1-6, 2004.
  • Fricton, J. Current evidence providing clarity in management of temporomandibular disorders: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials for intra-oral appliances and occlusal therapies. Journal of Evidence Based Dentistry, 6(1):48-52, 2006.
  • Schiffman, EL, Look, JO, Hodges, JS, Swift, JQ, Decker KL, Hathaway, KM, Templeton, RB, Fricton, J. Randomized effectiveness study of four therapeutic strategies for TMJ closed lock. J Dent Res. 2007 Jan;86(1):58-63.
  • Fricton J. Myogenous temporomandibular disorders: diagnostic and management considerations. Dent Clin North Am. 2007 Jan;51(1):61-83, vi. Review.
  • Ferreira JN, Ko CC, Myers S, Swift J, Fricton JR. Evaluation of Surgically Retrieved Temporomandibular Joint Proplast/Teflon and Silastic Implants - a Pilot Study.J. Oral Maxillfac Surg. 2008;66(6):1112-24.
  • Fricton, J, Davies D. Personal Health Records to Improve Health Information Exchange and Patient Safety in Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches (eds: Henriksen, K Battles, JB, Keyes, MA, Grady, ML, Grady, ML) AHRQ, 2008.
  • Fricton, J., Chen, H, Teledentistry to Improve Access to Dental Care for the Underserved. Dent Clin N Am 53:537?548, 2009.
  • Fricton, J, Velly, A. Ouyang W., Look, J. Does exercise therapy improve headache? A systematic review with meta-analysis. Current Pain & Headache Reports 13(6):413-419 2009.

Publications Reviewer

  • Journal of the American Dental Association
  • Journal of Pain
  • Journal of Orofacial Pain
  • Journal of Dental Research
  • American Pain Society Journal
  • Journal of Oral Rehabilitation
  • Journal of Oral Pathology
  • Oral Medicine
  • Oral Surgery