Dean Gremillion envisions LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry as a place where patients who suffer from recurrent or chronic oral and craniofacial pain can receive quality evaluation and care. Equally important, students and residents will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and clinical experience in the treatment of orofacial pain. Key faculty will also encourage research collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians with a focus on developing new and improved clinical treatments for temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain. As resources and funding become available, LSU will continue to strengthen and expand its activities in the area of orofacial pain for both students and practitioners.
The widespread condition known as orofacial pain often has a devastating impact on a patient's quality of life. Some surveys estimate that 22 percent of Americans over 18 years of age commonly report pain in the orofacial pain region. When headache is included, the incidence of orofacial pain is much higher.
In response to the high incidence of orofacial pain, LSU has committed significant resources to recruiting educators who can provide patient care, as well as instruct students in the field of orofacial pain. According to Dr. Henry A. Gremillion, dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry, "As health care professionals, we should be able to diagnose, treat, or at least know when to refer orofacial pain patients to a qualified practitioner."
L-R: Drs. Dale Ehrlich, Henry Gremillion, Christopher Spencer, and Gary Klasser
Gary D. Klasser, DMD
A professor at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry's Department of Comprehensive Dentistry and Biomaterials, Division of Diagnostic Sciences, Dr. Klasser earned his DMD from the University of Manitoba. He earned a certificate in orofacial pain from the University of Kentucky, College of Dentistry, and he completed a fellowship in oral medicine and oral oncology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry where he served as assistant professor and director and chief of the oral medicine and orofacial pain clinic. Currently, his responsibilities at LSU include: clinical management, continuing education, research and training of predoctoral and postdoctoral students. He is the author or co-author of 65 peer-reviewed journal articles, four textbooks, and 20 textbook chapters. He is past President of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain.
A. Dale Ehrlich, MS, DDS, MAGD
Chairman of the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry and Biomaterials at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry and a retired Captain in the Dental Corps, US Navy, Dr. Ehrlich earned his DDS at Indiana University. He completed a fellowship in orofacial pain at the University of Florida Craniofacial Pain Center. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to the Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS) where he established the Orofacial Pain Postgraduate Program for the Navy Dental Corps and served as the first specialty leader for temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and orofacial pain. At NPDS, he co-founded the Department of Defense Orofacial Pain Center and its residency program. Dr. Ehrlich is Diplomate of the American Board of Orofacial Pain (ABOP) and Diplomate of the American Board of General Dentistry.
Henry A. Gremillion, DDS, MAGD
Dr. Gremillion is dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. Prior to becoming dean, he served over 17 years as director of the Parker E. Mahan Facial Pain Center at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and also directed the college's fellowship program in craniomandibular dysfunction. He received his DDS from LSU and maintained a general dental practice in Cottonport, Louisiana for over a decade. Dr. Gremillion has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad and has authored or co-authored over 75 scientific articles, abstracts, and book chapters in the field of orofacial pain. In recent years, he has been instrumental in recruiting a core group of new dental school faculty members to address education and patient care in the area of orofacial pain.
Christopher J. Spencer, DDS
Dr. Spencer is an associate professor at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry's Department of Diagnostic Sciences. He earned his DDS degree from the Universit of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. Following many years of private dental practice in San Rafael, California, Dr. Spencer completed a two year fellowship in orofacial pain at the University of Florida Parker E. Mahan Facial Pain Center. He became clinical director of the Pain Center under Dr. Henry Gremillion. Currently, Dr. Spencer's responsibilities involve clinical faculty practice in the treatment of orofacial pain, training both predoctoral and postdoctoral students in diagnosis and treatment planning, continuing education, and writing articles to help educate health care professionals about the reality of facial pain in our patient populations.