Orofacial Pain

The Orofacial Pain Clinic at the University of Kentucky was founded in 1977 for the purpose of helping patients suffering with various temporomandibular disorders. It was the first clinic in the USA dedicated to the management of facial pain disorders associate with dental and nondental issues. Since that time, it has expanded into a multi-disciplinary clinic for the management of complex orofacial pain problems, including temporomandibular disorders. Patients are routinely evaluated by dentists, clinical psychologists, and physical therapists. Medical and dental specialists are called upon regularly to assist in the diagnosis and management of complex pain problems.
In 1997 the University of Kentucky Orofacial Pain Graduate Training Program was nationally accredited by the Post-Graduate Education Committee of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. The Kentucky program was the first to achieve this national accreditation. In 2011, the Orofacial Pain Program became national accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation which was the first year this status was offered. The Orofacial Pain Clinic has been providing graduate education in the areas of temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain since 1985. Presently, the clinic offers three full-time graduate training programs and three part-time continuing education programs.


Orofacial Pain
Jeffrey P. Okeson, DMD, Founder
Isabel Moreno-Hay, DDS, PhD, Clinic Director, Division Chief, Program Director
Reny de Leeuw, DDS, PhD, MPH 
Elizangela Bertoli, DDS, MS
Pratishtha Mishra, DDS MS 
Marcia Rojas Ramirez, DDS MS 
Dr. Fernanda Yanez Regonesi, DDS MS

Oral Medicine
Craig Miller, DMD, MS
Dr. Thamer Musbah, BDS MS

Dental Sleep Medicine
Cristina Perez, DDS, MS
Pratishtha Mishra, DDS MS 
Isabel Moreno-Hay, DDS, PhD
Dr. Fernanda Yanez Regonesi, DDS MS

Adolescent TMD
Cristina Perez, DDS, MS

Ian Boggero, PhD 

Physical Therapist
Anne Harrison, PT, PhD
Garrett Naze, PT
Nicole Windsor, PT 


2nd year: Dr. Micah Dowling and Dr. Andrew Mitchell

1st year: Dr. Mridul Chakarvarty, Dr. Vaishakhi Chetariya, Dr. Scott Guthrie, and Dr. Monica Hamilton

CODA approved Orofacial Pain Residency Program 

The University of Kentucky Orofacial Pain program was the first to apply to the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) for accreditation. It was fully accredited in 2011, the first year this accreditation was offered. The Orofacial Pain Residency Program is a two-year program specifically designed for dentists who wish to gain a broad-based experience in the field of orofacial pain. The program includes didactic, clinical, and research components.

The overall goal of the orofacial pain residency program is to produce an excellently prepared orofacial pain clinician who is able to distinguish him/herself either in private or academic practice. 

A brief description of the program components are listed below: 

Didactic Component

The didactic component consists of the following five weekly seminars:

  • Two hours of literature review on pain topics
  • One hour of literature review on dental sleep medicine
  • One hour reviewing current orofacial pain and TMD literature
  • One and one half hours of case conferencing reviewing patients with the orofacial pain faculty, psychology faculty, and psychology residents
  • One and one half hours seminar dedicated to an orofacial pain topic

The didactic component also includes courses in oral medicine, dental sleep medicine, oral pathology, research design, epidemiology, weekly neurology grand rounds, and monthly dental grand rounds. Weekly topic seminars include dental and medical pain specialists in the areas of psychology, radiology, rheumatology, rehabilitative medicine, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, neurology, headache, oral medicine, addiction, dental sleep medicine, behavioral sleep medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and physical therapy.

Clinical Component

The clinical component of the program consists of approximately 60 percent of a resident’s time clinically evaluating and managing orofacial pain, oral medicine, and sleep apnea patients. The program encourages a medical-biopsychosocial model for the diagnosis and management of orofacial pain rather than manual dental skills to alter dental structures. Emphasis is placed on establishing a proper diagnosis and management plan, including collaborations with appropriate medical specialists. Behavioral, pharmacologic, and physical therapies including injections and / or intraoral orthopedic appliances when appropriate are routinely used to manage orofacial pain patients.

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. If a resident or fellow originates from a country where English is not the primary language, he or she will need to demonstrate superior verbal and comprehension skills in order to actively participate in the clinical assessment and management of patients. The Program Director and the Clinic Director will determine the timing of clinical participation, in consultation with other faculty members.

Research Component

All Orofacial Pain residents are required to research significant articles related to an approved topic and write a review article suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed Journal. Residents may also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research efforts in the clinic, depending on the availability and type of research activity at the time. The Director of Research will determine the degree of research participation for residents and fellows.


Master of Science Orofacial Pain Program

Candidates who are interested in the Master of Science Orofacial Pain Program will complete the admissions requirement for the two-year residency program. Once accepted in this program, the candidate can become eligible to extend into the Master of Science Degree Program. The Master’s Program typically adds an additional year (total 3-year program). The Master of Science Degree Program requires the successful completion of 30 credit hours of graduate courses in the College of Dentistry. In addition, the research component requires each Master of Science Degree candidate to complete a manuscript developed from original research in an area of orofacial pain or temporomandibular disorders. The Degree is awarded after successful completion of all course work, a public defense of the research, and submission of the manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal.

One-Year Fellowship Program

Candidates who are interested in a one-year Fellowship Program will complete the same admissions requirement as the two-year CODA approved residency program. These candidates will need to designate their interest in this one-year program in their application.

Orofacial Pain Facility

Our facility provides a quite, private treatment area for patients with chronic orofacial pain-view a short slideshow here. There are eight private rooms for patient evaluation and treatments. These rooms are large enough for the patient and his/her support members. There is a comfortable reception area, a station to record the patient’s vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.), an area for standard radiographs and a dental laboratory. There is also a large team room for patient discussions, case conferences, and seminars. In the team room, there is a station for each resident with his/her own private desk and computer. There is a 70-inch flat screen TV used for presentations. This TV is also linked to two of the treatment rooms so that patient interviews and treatments can be viewed live and/or recorded in the team room. This facility is completely dedicated to the orofacial pain program.

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