One measure of a dentist’s commitment to treating temporomandibular joint disorders (called TMJ or TMD) is their ongoing training in the discipline. All dentists must complete continuing education to maintain their licenses, but a dentist committed to TMJ treatment focuses their education on this and related areas. Evidence of this commitment comes when a dentist earns certifications that demonstrate education and achievement.

That’s why we’re proud to announce that TMJ dentist Dr. Kevin Berry of Denver, CO, has recently earned two prestigious certifications: a Master of Science degree in Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine and an Orofacial Pain Specialist certification. Here’s what these certifications mean for Dr. Berry’s current and future patients.

Master of Science in Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine

Dr. Berry earned this master’s degree from the Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California (USC). The Ostrow School of Dentistry offers challenging clinical education programs. These programs not only provide dentists with the skills they need to become the best in their fields but also strive to inspire them with a strong commitment to the highest ethical standards.

The Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine program is a 36-month hybrid program partly online and partly in person. The online program consists of 14 courses that candidates have to complete. These courses focus on the biology of TMJ and other maxillofacial disorders and properly diagnosing them. Dentists learn how to combine the diagnosis and biological knowledge to provide effective treatment to patients. These online courses include weekly video conferences where students analyze a diverse array of cases.

Each summer, candidates attend USC for two weeks of intensive evaluations. Dentists perform standardized clinical examinations, participate in oral interviews, and complete written examinations to demonstrate their knowledge.

At the end of the course, dentists present a final portfolio of cases and a research project that demonstrates a comprehensive command of the course’s subject matter.

The subject’s course material covers a wide range of diseases and disorders, including:

  • TMJ
  • Migraines
  • Tension type headache
  • Chronic daily headache
  • Sleep apnea
  • Oral and pharyngeal mucosal diseases
  • Salivary infections
  • Neurogenic infections
  • Osseous infections
  • Odontogenic infections
  • Tumors
  • Oral neuropathic pain
  • Oral spasticity

This diverse training provides important context for diagnosing and treating TMJ, not the least of which is how to distinguish between TMJ and other conditions that might present with closely related symptoms.

Orofacial Pain Specialist

Dr. Berry earned his certification as an orofacial pain specialist from the American Board of Craniofacial Pain. In order to earn this certification, Dr. Berry had to provide extensive documentation of his training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of orofacial pain.

Dr. Berry had to demonstrate that he had worked in a craniofacial pain practice for at least two years. (Dr. Berry has worked in a practice of this type for several decades.) Dr. Berry had to document that he’d worked with at least 100 patients who had craniofacial pain. (Dr. Berry has worked with hundreds of these patients.)

Then he had to demonstrate that he’d spent at least two years in a graduate program dedicated to orofacial pain, as well as completing at least 500 hours of continuing education related to orofacial pain.

Finally, Dr. Berry had to provide three detailed patient case histories demonstrating that he understood how to successfully treat these patients. In addition to documenting the case histories, he had to defend them under an oral examination to prove that his understanding of the conditions allowed him to treat future patients as well.

Successfully completing this certification is independent verification of his skills in diagnosing and treating orofacial pain, including TMJ.

Benefits for Patients

If you are looking for a dentist to help you deal with TMJ symptoms, there are several reasons why you should choose a dentist with these certifications. A dentist with certifications like Dr. Berry provides evidence of:

  • Education about the conditions
  • Experience working with patients
  • Effective treatment of patients

All of which may help you get better results from your treatment.

Education Matters

TMJ is often called “the great imposter” because it can be easily misdiagnosed or overlooked because the diversity of symptoms leads to confusion with other conditions. Just a quick glance at the list of conditions covered in the MS course shows you how many closely related conditions could underlie your experience of orofacial pain. Being able to distinguish these conditions and achieve a positive diagnosis leads to successful treatment.

Experience Teaches, Too

In addition to getting a detailed education, there are some lessons that only experience can teach. Demonstrating that a dentist has worked with numerous cases of orofacial pain helps you know that they have already learned many of these lessons, which will help them hone in on proper diagnosis and treatment protocols.

Effective Treatment Is the Goal

Of course, everyone’s goal in this is ensuring that orofacial pain patients get effective treatment for their conditions. These certification programs both include evidence that a dentist can successfully treat patients experiencing orofacial pain.

Any dentist can say they successfully treat these conditions. Dr. Berry has presented his cases to the scrutiny of multiple educated professionals. They scrutinized his evidence, second-guessed his diagnoses, and questioned his treatment protocols. Finally, they agreed that Dr. Berry did successfully treat these cases.

As any investment commercial will tell you, past performance is no guarantee of future returns, but who would you rather work with: a dentist who has demonstrated that they can successfully treat orofacial pain, or a dentist who offers little more than their word as proof they can help?

A Denver TMJ Dentist You Can Trust

Are you an individual looking for a TMJ dentist you can trust with your health? Or are you a doctor looking for a TMJ dentist you can trust with your patients? Dr. Kevin Berry’s certifications give you evidence that he is a leader in the field and can provide patients with relief from their orofacial pain.

To learn whether Dr. Berry is the right dentist for you or your patients, please call (303) 691-0267 or use our online contact form today to request an appointment at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver.