The Navy Medical Leader and Professional Development Command (NMLPDC) located at Naval Support Activity (NSA) in Bethesda, Maryland offers several operationally relevant training opportunities, contributing to Navy Medicine’s focus on sustaining a Force that is medically ready. Under the command and support of NMLPDC, the Naval Postgraduate Dental School offers a variety of advanced programs for dental officers that are designed to help the Dental Corps meet its need for officers who are fully qualified to practice, teach, and conduct research in dentistry. One of these important programs is the Orofacial Pain Program.
Orofacial Pain is the specialty of dentistry that includes the assessment, diagnosis & treatment of patients with orofacial pain disorders, masticatory muscles and joints disorders, jaw behavior disorder, neuropathic pain disorders and neurovascular pain disorders.
The Orofacial Pain Center, a department of the Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS), was founded in 2001 in response to the growing need to treat service members and their families suffering from orofacial pain (OFP) and temporomandibular disorders (TMD) using an evidence -based approach. More specifically, the center was commissioned to optimize warfighter readiness, lethality, and retention by 1) reducing the amount of iatrogenic harm that is common among this patient population, and 2) training patients in self-regulatory skills to maximize physiologic recovery and function.
The Orofacial Pain Residency Program at NPDS was formed simultaneously with a vision to train OFP specialists who are uniquely equipped to 1) manage complex OFP patients, and 2) teach dentists, physicians, and other healthcare providers how to evaluate and treat basic OFP concerns. The skills taught in the program are distinct and act to bridge the gap between medicine and dentistry. Many OFP patients not only suffer from facial pain, but also have a host of other pain and health challenges that require multidisciplinary care. Therefore, the OFP residency focuses on training its graduates to be skilled in the evaluation and management of chronic pain, mental health challenges, and sleep disturbance, each of which are highly prevalent throughout the Department of Defense (DOD) and are, Congressional and DOD priority areas. Additionally, the program is unparalleled in training residents to care for Wounded Warrior patients suffering from the poly-trauma clinical triad of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and chronic facial pain.
The OFP residency at NPDS is the sole OFP training program for the DOD. The program graduates between 1-3 Tri-Service specialists annually, and these specialists are strategically placed throughout the DOD to maximize warfighter access to care. Looking to the future, the OFP program plans to expand its impact throughout the DOD by strengthening multidisciplinary care collaboration with medicine to provide our warfighters with the world class care necessary to optimize readiness and lethality.
Additional course information may be found at: https://www.med.navy.mil/Naval-Medical-Leader-and-Professional-Development-Command/Naval-Postgraduate-Dental-School/Orofacial-Pain/
Article written in collaboration with LCDR James Hawkins, DC, USN. LCDR Hawkins is the NPDS Orofacial Pain Department Chair and the Navy Orofacial Pain Specialty Leader to Chief, BUMED.
|Date Posted:||07.29.2022 10:41|
|Lease:||BETHESDA, MD, US|
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