Orofacial Pain – the 12th Dental Specialty: Clinical Implications for the General Practitioner and Dental Specialist


Course Price:

*Discounted fee based upon purchase of vacation package. If purchased separately, please add $400 to the above fees.



The American Dental Association has recognized the field of orofacial pain as the 12th specialty in dentistry. Recognition of the specialty solidifies another link between dentistry and medicine, acknowledging that the orofacial region, oral cavity and masticatory system are an integral part of total patient care. It is incumbent upon all clinicians to recognize accepted diagnostic protocols, have an awareness of differential diagnosis and appropriate management.

The purpose of these interactive presentations is to arm clinicians with diagnostic and clinical skills required to better understand orofacial pain disorders, their differential diagnoses and management.

Course Content

Learning Objectives

Outline of topics:

· Differential Diagnosis of the Temporomandibular Joint-Anatomy and Biomechanics/Imaging Biology

· Is Temporomandibular Disorders Neurovascular Orofacial Pain

· Is Migraine a Toothache?

· Orofacial Pain from the Physicians Point of View

· Systemic Disorders Causing Facial Pain

. Demonstration of Musculoskeletal Evaluation and the Cranial Nerve Exam

· Post-Implant Neuropathy and Neuropathic Pain

· What to Do When Things Go Wrong!

· Pharmacotherapy of Orofacial Pain

· It’s Not Pain Unless the Brain Says so

· Ominous Diagnoses: Case-based Presentation and Group Discussion

· Additional Topics upon Request of the Attendees

Teaching methods:

This course will be a series of lectures, with the opportunity for students to interact with each other and they presenter. The presenter will be available by email for any follow-up discussions at the conclusion of the program.

Target audience:

General dentists and specialists and staff.

The most important factor in the differential diagnosis of artificial pain disorders is the ability to recognize when something is out of place. This begins with the observation of the patient, even as they enter the waiting room. Staff interactions can be quite revealing as well. To paraphrase William Osler, observation and listening are essential components of differential diagnosis. What you see what you hear what you touch will lead you; If you listen, the patient will tell you the diagnosis./p>


Participants in this program will gain a greater awareness of orofacial pain, the role of that practitioner in the medical community, and patient management of chronic complex orofacial pain disorders. Clinical and diagnostic tools will be shared with hopefully a lively discussion of case presentations among participants in the presenter.




Division, Program, and Clinical Director

Center for Temporomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain

Department of Diagnostic Science, Division of Orofacial Pain

Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

110 Bergen Street – Room D835

Newark, New Jersey 07101


Dr. Heir is the immediate Past-President of the American Board of Orofacial Pain, and a Past President and Fellow of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. He serves as Co-Chair of the Written Examination Committee for the American Board of Orofacial Pain.

Dr. Heir serves on the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the Commission for Dental Education and Licensure of the American Dental Association. He is the Section Editor for Pain Updates of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Dr. Heir has published papers, chapters, and abstracts on topics related to the field of temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain serves on several editorial boards, has authored chapters on the assessment of the temporomandibular disorder patients, and has contributed to other chapters on TMJ surgery and neuropathic pain. He was the primary author of the nationally accepted Post Graduate Core Curriculum in Orofacial Pain. He lectures worldwide.

Dr. Heir’s other interests are recognized, and he is considered an authority on orofacial pain in Lyme Disease, a debilitating disorder seen in the United States and other parts of the world. Three New Jersey governors appoint him to the Governor’s Lyme Disease Advisory Council for the State of New Jersey. Dr. Heir served as the Council’s Vice Chair for four years and continues as one of its members.


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