Course Outline:

  • 12 modules of content (suggestion is one module per week) 
  • Each module includes several topics 
  • Each topic includes: 
    1. Video presentation
    2. An interactive assignment
    3. Handouts you can download
    4. A quiz to test your comprehension of the material

This course offers 16 hours ADA CERP when you complete the Modules and each Quiz. Credits will be provided by your enrolling institution.

Course Map:

  • The 12 Modules are designed for you to use in the order presented.
  • Within each Module are one or more Advanced Topics. Check with your course faculty whether you need to complete these topics.

Learning Activity

The course asks you to interview 10 of your friends or family – do they have any of the signs or symptoms of TMD?   How prevalent is this within your circle?  We provide questions for you to ask and a spreadsheet to record answers.  As you proceed with the course content and learn new screening and treatment skills, we ask you to see how this applies to your interviewees.

Learning Goals:

This is an introductory course designed to foster understanding of:

  • Basic science of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and pain mechanisms
  • Diagnosis and risk assessment for TMD patients
  • Importance of early intervention and self-care for acute TMD (to prevent chronic pain)
  • Evidence-based treatment and interdisciplinary care strategies for TMD
  • Differentiating common TMD in general dentistry from complex cases for referral.


  1. TMD and its impact to Expand the Profession of Dentistry
  2. Basic Science of TMD
  3. Differential Diagnosis of TMD and Orofacial Pain
  4. Onset, Etiology and Progression of TMD
  5. TMD screening and evaluation
  6. Risk Assessment and Treatment Planning
  7. Prevention and Patient Self-care of TMD
  8. Intraoral Splints and Occlusal Considerations in TMD Treatment 
  9. Pharmacological Treatment of TMD including opioids
  10. Physical Therapy and Other Treatments for TMD
  11. Transformative and Interdisciplinary Care for TMD
  12. Practice Management of TMD care

Course Faculty

  • Dr. James Fricton DDS, MS

    Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota

  • Dr. Jeff Okeson DMD

    Dean, University of Kentucky College of Dentistry

  • Dr. Hong Chen DDS, MS

    Assistant Professor, University of Iowa

  • Dr. Janey Prodoehl PT, PhD

    Physical Therapy Institute located, Midwestern University

  • Dr. Kathleen Sluka RPT, PhD

    Professor of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Iowa

  • Dr. Shad Smith PhD

    Assistant Professor in Anesthesiology Duke University

  • Dr. Lee Ann Brady DMD

    Executive Director The Pankey Institute

Course Director

Dr. James Fricton

Meet Dr. James Fricton, an Orofacial Pain Specialist who is world-renown for his research, teaching and patient care in relieving and preventing chronic pain and opioid use. He is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota and a Board-Certified Pain Specialist at the Minnesota Head and Neck Pain Clinic. His goal is to bridge the gap in dental and medical fields to improve understanding of preventive, diagnostic and treatment options for TMD and orofacial pain.