Welcome to the Team: Dr. Sherwin Arman

Posted on: Wednesday, 04/15/2020

Sherwin Arman

ONE MOTTO THAT DR. SHERWIN ARMAN lives by is that it’s never too late to learn something new. This mindset is evidenced by the fact that even though he had already earned a DDS degree and two advanced training certificates in AEGD and Orofacial Pain and Dysfunction, he went back to school to earn a Master’s degree in public health ­— nearly 20 years after his undergraduate degree, 

For many dentists, their choice to pursue dentistry occurred after they had shadowed a practicing clinician and had seen firsthand the joy that comes from caring for patients. For Dr. Arman, the decision to pursue dental school after graduating college came after volunteering at a small dental clinic while he was still an undergraduate student. Academic dentistry came a little later, when he was a UCLA resident, studying under Dr. Bob Merrill in the dental school’s Orofacial Pain residency program. 

“I knew then that I wanted to teach what I was learning,” Dr. Arman said. “At that time, orofacial pain was very academic and although private practitioners were in practice throughout the country, it was still a very new field with no blueprint on how to do it. My opportunity to help the specialty came when UCLA was searching for a new residency program director.”

Dr. Arman joined the full-time faculty at UCLA Dentistry last summer as an assistant clinical professor and the residency program director of the orofacial pain residency program. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. Merrill, who helped found the program and is a leading expert in orofacial pain. So far the variety of different roles he has played, both in the clinic and administratively, has kept him on his toes.

“Comparatively, orofacial pain is a newer dental specialty, but it’s one that has tentacles into other systemic health problems, such as TMD and sleep apnea. My daily drive comes from having a responsibility to teach residents to provide exemplary care to patients and to also become educators in the field of Orofacial Pain.”