Orofacial Pain and Dysfunction
Orofacial Pain and Dysfunction Preceptorship Program
- Program Overview
- Admissions Requirements
- Application Procedure
- Decisions Process
- Immigration Regulations
- Health Insurance
- Contact Information
Robert L. Merrill, DDS, MS
Preceptors in the Orofacial Pain and Dysfunction Preceptorship Program are treated the same as other residents in the specialty. Preceptors will take courses and seminars with the Orofacial Pain and Dysfunction residents. The goal is to provide hands-on clinical experience in treating headache, neuropathic pain disorders, TMJ disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Preceptors spend two and a half days per week in the clinic and spend one to two additional days observing with faculty. The didactic curriculum is extensive because little of the required pain sciences are presented in predoctoral or traditional dental specialty training. A specialist in orofacial pain needs a competency background in the basic and applied pain sciences. Topics include neurology, neuroanatomy, and neurological exam; laboratory and behavioral medicine; neurobiology of pain; neuropathic pain; headache disorders; musculoskeletal and myofascial pain disorders; pharmacotherapeutics for pain and pain management; occlusion and TMJ disorders; and sleep apnea and orofacial dystonias.
Clinic experience is hands-on following an observational probationary period that depends on the participant's prior experience. Initially more TMD patients will be assigned, and then the patient assignments will be expanded to more chronic pain profiles. The UCLA program gives actual treatment experience of the whole spectrum of orofacial pain conditions, traditional temporomandibular disorders and dental sleep medicine rather than limitation to screening, diagnosis, and referral for treatment.
Once established in the program, preceptors will be assigned patients in the clinic two days per week, and will be responsible for patient care, documentation, writing reports to referring doctors, follow-up to patient calls, and urgent care. Preceptors may work with faculty treating patients as well as attending other classes and preparing seminar and case materials. Full-time preceptors will share on-call pager duties with the orofacial pain residents when considered qualified by the clinic director. Many students also extend or combine their studies to obtain an advanced degree (MS or PhD) in oral biology, which requires a separate application. Please refer to the Oral Biology Programs page for more information.
A certificate of attendance is awarded upon successful completion of the program. This certificate is not the same as the postgraduate program certificate awarded to full-time international postgraduates in specialty training as a qualification for recognition by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Length of Program: 2 quarters. Applicants must specify the quarter they would like to begin and the length of program they desire. It is encouraged for preceptors to begin during the summer quarter for the one year Orofacial Pain and Dysfunction Advanced Clinical Training Program.
Please note: Should hands-on clinical experience be desired, preceptors must enroll in a minimum of 2 quarters.
Number of Positions: 2 (total enrollees for IPTP and Preceptor Program)
Fees: $6,500 per quarter (subject to change)*
Certificate Fee: one-time payment of $200
International Student Fee: $1,300 (only for those requesting I-20s for F-1 student status)
*Fees are due two weeks before the first day of the academic quarter.
- Degree from a dental school accredited by the local government jurisdiction
- English language proficiency
Applicants must submit all of the following materials:
- UCLA Preceptorship Program Application
- Official dental education transcripts translated into English or ECE Course-by-Course Report
- 3 confidential reports from people with knowledge of the applicant’s skills and potential
- Proof of English language proficiency for applicants with English as a second language (An interview in English may also be required)
- One-time, non-refundable application fee of $150.00 (the application fee must be paid in US dollars in the form of a check drawn from a US-affiliated bank, cashier's check, or money order made payable to UC Regents.)
All application materials must be sent directly to:
Office of Student Affairs
If you wish to use a courier service please use the following address:
Incomplete files will not be considered.
Photocopies of official transcripts and TOEFL scores will not be accepted.
Application Deadline: Deadlines vary depending on the initial quarter of enrollment.
Initial Quarter of Enrollment
|Summer (July – September)||March 15|
|Fall (late September – December)||June 1|
|Winter (January – March)||September 15|
|Spring (April – June)||December 15|
Upon Acceptance: There is a non-refundable fee of $1,300 due after acceptance for those who need an I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa. There is also a $200 certificate fee to confirms your acceptance of the program. These fees are not applied towards your tuition and are non-refundable.
Selected candidates will be invited to interview. If you have been selected, you will be notified by phone, email, and/or letter.
Timing of Interviews: Within a week of reception and review of the application
Approximate Number of Candidates Selected for Interviews: 4
The admissions committee considers the following criteria in its decisions:
- Academic achievement
- Interest in orofacial pain
- Research experience
Accepted candidates are notified by email or letter. Decisions will be available within a week of reception and review of the application.
All preceptors who are not U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or on a visa status authorized for enrollment in full-time studies must enter the United States on an F-1 visa. The 1-20AB necessary for application for an F-1 visa is processed by the School’s International Advisor. This is a non-immigrant visa which presumes you are in the United States for the purpose of studying for a limited time. The I-20AB request form will be sent to you after acceptance to the program.
All foreign students attending UCLA are required to be insured under an adequate medical insurance plan during all periods of registration. Medical insurance is not provided by UCLA for preceptorship students, and preceptors cannot be seen at the on-campus student health facility. The School of Dentistry requires that you obtain a health clearance prior to enrollment in the program for individual and community health reasons. The health clearance must include a complete physical examination and demonstration of immunity to certain communicable diseases. Annual monitoring for tuberculosis will also be necessary.