New orofacial pain clinic has grand opening

UK HealthCare will held a grand opening on April 5 for a new Orofacial Pain Clinic, a diagnostic and treatment center established to provide care for patients suffering with temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pains.

The clinic is home to one of the first orofacial pain programs in the United States that has grown to national and international prominence since it was founded in 1977. The opening of the new clinic will coincide with the 25th annual Orofacial Pain Alumni Continuing Education course for orofacial pain specialists led by Dr. Jeffrey P. Okeson, professor and chair or the Department of Oral Health Science at the UK College of Dentistry, and director of UK HealthCare’s Orofacial Pain Program.The Orofacial Pain Program at UK is one of only two programs in the U.S. to be fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation during the first year of eligibility. The program takes a multidisciplinary approach to orofacial pain, utilizing dentists, psychologists and physical therapists and is one of the only programs offering psychology training applied to chronic orofacial pain.

In 1985, the Orofacial Pain Clinic began formal training for dentists in the diagnosis and management of chronic TMD and orofacial pain disorders through a fellowship program, and the master of science degree was established in 1994. Over the years, the program has become recognized worldwide as a leading training center for dentists and psychologists wishing to advance their understanding of complex orofacial pain issues and associated conditions. To date, 51 dental residents from 21 different countries and more than 25 pain psychology students have graduated from the various full-time programs, and more than 250 individuals from all over the world have participated in part-time programs.

The orofacial pain faculty have established themselves as authorities in the field and have greatly contributed to the practice, research, and teaching standards used throughout the world. Faculty members have published three text books on topics in the field of Orofacial Pain and numerous research papers. The books are widely used in dental schools, graduate training programs and by dental practitioners, and have been published in eleven different languages. Additionally,faculty have been involved in developing science-based treatment protocols for the management of orofacial pain conditions.

The new space for Orofacial Pain Clinic will provide optimal care for patients and enhanced educational experiences for residents.

The prior space was originally provided in 1995 when the program had two residents and two staff. The Center’s enterprise has expanded to between four and six residents, two psychology residents, three clinical psychologists, one physical therapist and two staff personnel. The space for the new facility will be three times larger than the present one.

The new facility will increase the number of treatment rooms to eight, and each will provide privacy for the patient and their company.

Kentucky Clinic is the treatment facility for most of the outpatient care provided by the UK medical specialties. Being in this environment will not only enhance the clinic’s visibility and accessibility, but also improve the working relationship with all medical specialties encountering patients with chronic pain. Being present in the Kentucky Clinic should increase patient referrals from within UK HealthCare.

Orofacial pain residents will benefit from a closer working relationship with the other medical residency programs. Close proximity to medical services such as the medical lab and pharmacy will greatly improve patients’ experiences.

The grand opening will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the waiting room of the Orofacial Pain Clinic located on the second floor of the Kentucky Clinic. Dean Sharon Turner from the College of Dentistry will speak at 5:15 p.m.


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