Temporomandibular Disorders

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

 Director: Dr. Ronald Attanasio

The section's curriculum offers courses at the COD for the dental students, dental hygiene students, and postgraduate residents. During the past several years, the dental and dental hygiene National Boards have included questions regarding TMD.

In the dental student curriculum, which has been showcased as a national model through the Special Interest Group on Temporomandibular Disorders with the American Dental Education Association, there are both didactic and clinical components. Following an introductory didactic component with the D2 students in their Fall Semester prior to their introduction to clinic, the D2 students receive a comprehensive TMD didactic and laboratory course as well as an introduction to sleep disorders during their Summer Session prior to entering the clinic as D3 students. In addition to learning the foundational knowledge relative to the diagnosis and management of patients with TMD signs and symptoms, the D2 students learn to fabricate a bruxism oral appliance through a hands-on activity with each other. The D3-D4 clinical curriculum involves clinical experiences of fabricating bruxism oral appliances for their patients in the school' s comprehensive care clinic, and the students participate through annual on-line case-based simulations to demonstrate their competency in the management of TMD patients.

The dental hygiene student curriculum involves a DH4 didactic and clinical component during which the students receive an overview of TMD and learn to conduct a basic TMD screening examination on each other that they will be able to apply to their patients in a private practice setting.

For the postgraduate residents, a UNMC Graduate College semester course is offered bi-annually during which the residents are presented with a foundational knowledge of orofacial pain and sleep disorders.