Orofacial Pain Clinic
Welcome to the Orofacial Pain Clinic at Tripler Army Medical Center. Orofacial Pain is the dental specialty concerned with the diagnosis and management of pain and dysfunction affecting the mouth, jaw, face, head and/or neck. Previously such complaints were termed TMD (temporomandibular disorders); however, current studies indicate that many of these patients have factors affecting pain outside the jaw or masticatory system. Orofacial pain patients routinely have head, neck, shoulder, or systemic conditions that can significantly influence facial pain. Due to the unique, multifaceted nature of orofacial pain symptoms, patients at this clinic find their visits are a blend of conventional dental and medical appointments.
For most patients, the initial appointment is usually about 2 hours in length, which reflects the clinic's multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and management of orofacial pain. The initial appointment consists of a comprehensive patient history, physical evaluation, and when necessary, appropriate x-rays. Some patients with complex pain complaints may require more than one visit to complete this evaluation. Once the initial appointment has been completed, the findings and treatment recommendations are reviewed with the patient.
Follow-up treatment appointments usually range from 20-90 minutes in length, depending on patient treatment needs. A same gender standby is available for any appointment by patient request.
In addition to patient care, some of the clinic's founding goals are to conduct training and clinical research. Healthcare providers from a variety of different training programs may rotate through the clinic. Although these residents may be involved with patient care, all evaluation and treatment decisions within the clinic are performed under the supervision of the attending staff. At times, patients may be invited to participate in research investigations. A patient's decision to accept or decline to participate in a research study will have absolutely no bearing on the care that they receive. Patients participating in a research study may withdraw at anytime without affecting their care.