Certificate in Orofacial Pain

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

The Online Certificate in Orofacial Pain is a hybrid program (face-to-face and online classes) with a total of 8 courses (12.5 academic units), specifically designed for the practicing dental professional who wants to improve skills and gain expertise to deliver the best care for patients with complex conditions.

The certificate curriculum is designed with a series of didactic courses where students will gain knowledge about the diagnosis, pathobiology and treatment of different oral diseases in the field of orofacial pain, including masticatory musculoskeletal pain, neurogenic orofacial pain, temporomandibular disorders, headaches, orofacial motor disorders including orofacial dystonias and bruxism, intraoral, intracranial, extracranial and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain.

The students participate in weekly live webinar sessions with the faculty and other residents, ensuring a collaborative and social learning experience.  There are 2-3 courses per trimester, with 2-4 streaming video lectures for viewing each week.  After each video lecture students complete an associated online quiz (comprised of multiple choice, short answer or fill-in questions).  The Program is primarily online but also includes a 10-day practical training conducted at the USC campus, with skills development and competence evaluation.  At the end of the program, the students present and defend a case portfolio.

This program is consistent with the global vision of the University of Southern California, and looks for a worldwide presence.  All students will need English language proficiency, but we will provide support for our Spanish speaking dental professionals. This is achieved by providing lectures with the option of closed captioning in Spanish and live-webinars both in English and Spanish.

Program Goals and Objectives

 This program will offer a unique and innovative opportunity for practicing dentists who want to learn more about oral pain including jaw disorders, neuropathies, chronic headaches, sleep and motor disorders. The Dentist is often confronted with painful conditions that do not come directly from the dental structures, but whose diagnosis is crucial for proper management, thus avoiding procedures that not only do not solve the chief complaint, but also can complicate the clinical picture. Examples of these conditions are musculoskeletal diseases and neuropathic disorders, which are rarely solved by conventional dental treatment. Having training in Orofacial Pain benefits the dentist, who will acquire skills to diagnose and effectively treat painful conditions. It will also benefit patients suffering from these sometimes incapacitating conditions. In addition, society benefits, because with proper management, the impact of a disease in productivity and functionality is reduced, as well as the financial burden of unnecessary treatments. Reading, interpreting and critically appraising the oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology and medicine literature, and knowing how to apply the scientific method and evidence-based practice. 

Sequence of Courses

Trimester I

OFPM-723 Systems Physiology, Motor Disorders & Sleep Apnea For Dental Residents 2
OFPM-730a Case Portfolio Preparation Course for OFPOM Students 0.5

Trimester II

OFPM-707 Pharmacology Series For Dental Residents 2
OFPM-706 TMD, Orthopedics, Rheumatology & Physical Therapy For Dental Residents 2
OFPM-730b Case Portfolio Preparation Course for OFPOM Students 0.5

Trimester III

OFPM-705 Neurogenic Based Oral & Facial Pains For Dental Residents 2
OFPM-724 Psychological & Psychometric Assessment For Dental Residents 2

Trimester IV

OFPM-710a Knowledge Assessment for OFPOM Residents 1
OFPM-731 Case Portfolio Review and Defense 0.5

Faculty Spotlight

Glenn Clark Roseann Mulligan