Orofacial pain encompasses several complex painful conditions involving the mouth, face, head, and adjacent regions. The oral and facial structures are closely associated with essential functions of eating, breathing, communication, sight, and hearing, and form the basis for appearance, self-esteem, and personal expression. Therefore, persistent pain in this area can deeply affect an individual’s health both physically and emotionally.

Orofacial pain and associated disorders are very common, and recent reports have concluded that there is an urgent need to improve the lives of millions of Australasians living with and impacted by pain. Orofacial pain results in enormous costs to both the individual and the community. Indeed, a recent international study revealed more adults miss work because of head and face pain than any other site of pain.

The diagnosis and management of these conditions require specialized knowledge and a sophisticated multidisciplinary approach to treatment well beyond that provided during medical and dental training. Although some exposure to Orofacial Pain occurs during the training of existing dental specialties, it is inconsistent and never the primary focus. Consequently, few clinicians attain the knowledge and expertise required to effectively treat the range of chronic Orofacial Pain conditions.

As access to appropriate care and treatment needs of those suffering chronic Orofacial Pain are not being met, the current health care models need to be altered. Accordingly, closely following curricula developed by the International Association for the Study of Pain and the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Orofacial Pain recently collaborated with the University of Sydney to develop a Master’s level postgraduate course in Orofacial Pain designed to be incorporated with pain management clinical training.



University of Sydney offers Master of Medicine/Science in Medicine (Pain Management). The content, structure and program is significantly influenced by the curriculum framework identified by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Further, the structure and content of the pathway in orofacial pain is influenced by guidelines from:

  • The Australian and New Zealand Academy of Orofacial Pain
  • The American Academy of Orofacial Pain