Craniomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain

Postdoctoral education in CM disorders and related head, neck, and orofacial pain is a full-time two-year interdisciplinary certificate program leading to a three-year Master of Science degree. The program is designed to provide students with the latest theories in chronic pain management from both a dental standpoint and a medical standpoint. Clinical training is conducted on a one-on-one basis at the Craniofacial Pain Center, a multidisciplinary center utilizing multiple current approaches to diagnosis and treatment. The center is the largest in the Northeast and is an acknowledged leader in the field. The faculty consists of dentists and other health care providers such as physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists who are involved in the teaching and clinical practice of pain management and masticatory stability.

The students learn how to diagnose utilizing the latest clinical techniques including radiographs, CT scanning, and MRI interpretations. The training also includes pain-control modalities such as medication, psychological intervention, electrical anesthesia, EMG biofeedback techniques, bite-appliance therapy, trigger-point injections, and computerized occlusal analysis and treatment. The center incorporates additional alternative medical modalities such as acupuncture, acupressure, and chiropractic remedies. The students supplement their clinical training with medical rotations through neurology, psychology, anesthesia, otolaryngology, and other pain-related specialties.

In addition to the clinical training, students construct a research proposal as part of their preparation for their research and thesis, which is essential for completion of the Master of Science requirements. Available research areas include, but are not limited to, gross anatomy, histology, dental occlusion, neurology, psychology, muscle function, and pain control.

Upon successful completion of the Master of Science program, students will be qualified to participate in the clinical aspect of CM disorders and orofacial pain management, to take the exam for board certification in orofacial pain, and to pursue independent research. Students also learn how to run an interdisciplinary pain practice or program and how to interact with a variety of health professionals.

Required Courses may include:

  • Head and Neck Anatomy
  • Biostatistics I and II
  • Oral Pathology
  • Medicine I and II
  • Growth and Development
  • Research Methods
  • CM Disorders
  • Dental Occlusion
  • Dental Implantology
  • Esthetic Dentistry
  • Nutrition
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Speech Pathology

Courses at the Craniofacial Pain Center

  • Theory and Clinical Training in Craniomandibular and Orofacial Pain Related to CM Disorder
  • Bruxism and Clenching
  • Psychological Implications
  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Headache Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Diagnostic Imaging Techniques (MRI)
  • Interdisciplinary Occlusion Relating to Corrective and Finishing Dental Techniques in CM Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders


Dr. Noshir Mehta, Professor

Dr. Leopoldo Correa, Associate Professor

Dr. Shuchi Dhadwal, Interim Director; Assistant Professor

Dr. Ronald Kulich, Professor

Dr. Chao Lu, Assistant Professor

Dr. George Maloney, Clinical Professor

Dr. Egilius L.H. Spierings, Associate Clinical Professor