UW School of Dentistry


Acute and Chronic Orofacial Pain

Mark Drangsholt

2 Credits / Quarter 11 (Spring, Third Year)

Course Description

Essential clinical and technical information and skills for diagnosis and management of patients that present with symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge on temporomandibular disorders (TMD). The objectives will be for the student to know (1) the epidemiology, etiology, and pathophysiology of TMD; (2) the diagnostic process; (3) radiographic interpretation; and (4) be able to design a scientifically supportable treatment protocol for the major types of TMD.

Course Outline

Lecture topics include: overview of TMD; anatomy/function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ); etiology/ epidemiology of TMD; behavioral assessment/diagnosis/management of intracapsular/extracapsular disorders; history and physical evaluation of TMD; controversies in TMD and movement disorders; and imaging of TMD.

The last 4-6 class sessions are dedicated to the students solving unknown cases from our clinic.

Course Expectations

To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student is expected to attend lectures and demonstrate her/his understanding of the lecture topics and supplemental readings through two midterm examinations and a final examination of unknown cases.

Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course. Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 1: Examine a patient using contemporary diagnostic methods to evaluate the head and neck region and to reach a diagnosis of the patient’s oral and craniofacial health status.
  • UWSOD Competency 4: Provide patient education in the prevention of oral diseases to promote oral and general health.
  • UWSOD Competency 6: Manage acute and chronic orofacial and dental pain.
  • UWSOD Competency 18: Practice dentistry within the ethical standards of the dental profession and the law.
  • UWSOD Competency 25: Manage a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communication skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment.


  • Syllabus, ORALM 533
  • Various articles

*last updated: 11/7/2011