Robert   Merrill, D.D.S.
Health Sciences Clinical Professor
Residency Program Director (Orofacial Pain)
(310) 794-7518
UCLA School of Dentistry
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951668
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668
Office:  A3-026 CHS


Dr. Merrill completed a Fellowship in Pain Management in the UCLA Pain Management Center in 1990 and was appointed a clinic director of the Orofacial Pain Clinic in 1991. He started private practice in Orofacial Pain in 1990 and began to develop the Graduate Orofacial Pain Residency Program from 1991 to 1995. In 1995, he was asked to come to UCLA as a full time instructor and become part of the Orofacial Pain Faculty Practice and Director of the Orofacial Pain Program. He became boarded by the American Board of Orofacial Pain and was appointed director for developing the ABOP Oral Board Exam. He developed the Dental Sleep Medicine Program at UCLA, making UCLA the first Dental School in the world to teach Dental Sleep Medicine as part of its graduate program and to offer a Continuing Education Mini-Residency in sleep medicine.


Educational & Professional Background

  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1961

  • D.D.S., USC, 1973

  • M.S., UCLA, 1994

Research & Interests

  • Research for his Masters Degree was in Psychosocial Variables in Tension-type headache.

  • Developed and administers the FACIALPAIN list serve which has over 400 members around the world. The list serve is the primary instrument for facial pain specialists to communicate with each other.

  • Research in Disability associated with Orofacial Pain

  • Research in Trigeminal Neuralgia and Pre-trigeminal neuralgia

  • Life-time Achievement Award From the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (April, 2009)

Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Orofacial Pain

  • American Board of Orofacial Pain

  • American Headache Society

  • American Pain Society

  • International Association for the Study of Pain

  • Headache Cooperative of the Pacific

Dr. Merrill has guided and prepared the documentation that will make UCLA the first orofacial pain program to be evaluated in the newly recognized specialty of Orofacial Pain. Specialty recognitions will be announced in 2011.

Additional Information

Patient Care Activities

Director of the Graduate Orofacial Pain Clinic and oversees all resident/patient contacts.

Private practice in the Faculty Orofacial Pain Practice.

Courses Taught

Dr. Merrill teaches 2 Core Curriculums courses in TMD and Orofacial Pain for all the UCLA Residencies in the summer and fall quarters of the first year of the residencies.

He teaches the following courses to the Orofacial Pain Residencies and in the Sleep Mini-residency program:

  • Neurophysiology of Pain
  • Neurobiology of Sleep
  • Headache Disorders
  • TMJ and Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Neuroanatomy of the head and neck
  • Pain Management
  • Pain and Sleep
  • Medication management of Chronic Pain
  • Non-odontogenic Orofacial Pain