Orofacial Pain Residency

The Orofacial Pain Residency is a two-year program to provide advanced training in the clinical dentistry and applied basic and behavioral sciences.

Program Overview

The Orofacial Pain Residency program provides advanced training beyond the level of pre-doctoral education in the clinical dentistry and applied basic and behavioral sciences, as well as refine the skills necessary for the generalist to understand pain mechanisms to accurately diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients with orofacial pain disorders and dental sleep medicine. It is a two-year planned and sequential post-doctoral ADA-accredited training program, which is specifically designed to meet the needs of the graduate wishing to acquire an encompassing knowledge in orofacial pain and dental sleep medicine. The resident will receive a certificate at the end of the program if the resident meets all the requirements.

The overall objective of this training program is to produce a resident competent in clinical skills and possessing the knowledge necessary to practice orofacial pain and sleep medicine. The clinical and didactic programs are designed to meet the requirements of CODA for the advanced general dentistry education programs in orofacial pain leading to certification by the American Board of Orofacial Pain.

The residency consists of four integral, inter-related components that support the overall objective: patient care, education, research, and service.

Each resident will spend time on formal rotations for the following services: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Otolaryngology, Neurology Clinic, Headache and Neuropathic Pain Clinic, Pediatric Rheumatology, Adult Rheumatology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Movement Disorder Clinic, Anesthesia Pain Clinic, and Sleep Medicine Clinic. Residents will function as an observer or first year resident on the service and attend all rounds, lectures, conferences and literature reviews scheduled by the service during the rotation. They will gain exposure to various procedures and techniques performed by the service and familiarity with the pharmacology and dosages of the various therapeutic agents routinely utilized by the service. In addition to interacting with a variety of healthcare professionals in a multidisciplinary system, residents will also observe and participate in diagnostic and, if possible, therapeutic activities performed by the participating service while becoming familiar with treatment/procedures involved in evaluating and treating a variety of medical problems.

Each resident will gain experience and competency in treating orofacial pain and develop the following skills:

  • Obtaining an accurate patient history and physical examination,
  • Recognizing what additional information is necessary to request adjunctive diagnostic or radiographic testing,
  • Ordering and interpreting appropriate tests and lab results,
  • Accessing the information to arrive at a reasonable differential diagnosis
  • Instituting an appropriate treatment plan based on the differential diagnosis,
  • Identifying when not to treat,
  • Monitoring a patient’s progress and amend a diagnosis and treatment plan accordingly.

Didactic Studies

Residents will successfully complete a series of lectures, seminars and literature review scheduled throughout the training period. These conferences are scheduled in a regular weekly and monthly fashion and provide additional education to the resident on a variety of topics in orofacial pain. They will gain advanced knowledge of the anatomical, physiological and psychosocial aspects of orofacial pain and understand the biopsychosocial model of pain. Furthermore, residents will learn and apply scientific principles for the care of patients and gain the knowledge of professional ethnics and implement it into their practice.

Research Investigation

The overall objective in this area is to emphasize thorough clinical investigation, professional presentation, and publication in a professional journal. Residents will be able to teach utilizing evidence based practice. Residents are expected to have submitted an abstract or journal article for peer review before the end of their second year. They may also be able to participate in ongoing research in the area of orofacial pain and/or sleep medicine depending on the availability and again type of research that is present at that time. The lead researcher will determine the project and degree of participation for the resident.  


The goal this area is for residents to be of service through the dissemination of knowledge to the population in general with specific focus on patients, dental and medical students, and healthcare colleagues. Furthermore, we recognize and gain from service opportunities by treating patients who need specialized care that cannot be effectively delivered in the general dental and medical community.

Salary & Benefits

The University of Michigan offers highly competitive salaries and tremendous benefits to our residents/fellows. An overview of salary, benefits and employment eligibility is available on the GME Office website.


Applicants who have completed a course of study at an American Dental Association (ADA)-accredited dental school, and who have graduated with a DDS or DMD are eligible to apply.

Internationally trained dental graduates should meet the following criteria:  

  • Have completed 2 additional years of a CODA-accredited dental program earning a DDS or DMD
  • Have an Educational Credential Evaluation of your transcripts submitted with your application.
  • Have passed the National Board of Dental Education Part I and Part II exams.
  • Are eligible for a Michigan Educational Limited Dental and Controlled Substance License.

The University of Michigan Hospital Dentistry Orofacial Pain program is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status.

The Orofacial Pain Residency Program does not participate in the MATCH. You must apply to our program through PASS. Applications are due November 1st.

Contact Us

Please contact the program administrator Ronelle Coffey at [email protected] with any questions.