Course Description

The Non-Odontogenic Toothache: Differential Diagnosis of Orofacial Pain. This presentation is aimed at general dentists as well as specialists. The objective is to give an overview of conditions that mimic a toothache, but are in fact various manifestations of orofacial pain.

What You Will Learn

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Differentially diagnosis: odontogenic, musculoskeletal, neuropathic, neurovascular pain
  • Perform diagnostic tests for each condition and management
  • The dentist should be able to distinguish between diverse presentations of orofacial pain and make appropriate referrals when indicated.


Instructor: Sowmya Ananthan, DMD

Dr. Ananthan is a graduate of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, earning both her DMD and MSD degrees there. Prior to that, she earned a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree from India. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orofacial Pain and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. Dr. Ananthan teaches in the Division of Orofacial Pain at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, in Newark, NJ, where she supervises the residents providing clinical care to patients with complex orofacial pain problems. She is also the Assistant Program & Clinic Director of the Post-Graduate Orofacial Pain Program.

She treats patients at the Rutgers Health faculty practice in New Brunswick and Newark, NJ as well as in her private practice in Red Bank, NJ. Dr. Ananthan is an examiner with the American Board of Orofacial Pain and serves as a reviewer for many journals, in addition to being extensively published. Her areas of research include orofacial neuropathic pain, novel therapeutic modalities such as topical medications for the treatment of neuropathic pain and TMD’s, new injection techniques such as the twin nerve block for the management of masticatory myofascial pain. She is a mentor to many residents in the Master's program, helping them with their research projects and thesis preparation and defense. She has presented abstracts at many national and international level meetings.

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