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School of Dental Medicine

Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences (OMMDS)

Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences (OMMDS)

Welcome to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. We are a comprehensive unit encompassing all diagnostic disciplines of Dental Medicine. Our faculty direct several courses in our undergraduate and graduate curriculum that highlight the importance of a strong foundational knowledge of basic sciences to the practice of Dental Medicine. Our full-time members are board certified in their respective disciplines and offer comprehensive exposure to our students to routine patient screening and evaluation as well as diagnostic work-up of challenging cases. Our clinical services cover the School of Dental Medicine, the University Hospitals system (in collaboration with the Departments of Oral Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry, and the AEGD program) and local practicing dentists and physicians.

Mission: To provide education for the competent management of disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region to dental students and graduate dental practitioners. We also provide excellent interdisciplinary care to patients in search of relief of head and neck pain, oral mucosal complications, osseous disease, sleep breathing disorders, salivary complications, and effects of cancer treatment.

Vision: We will be a world-class center in oral and maxillofacial medicine, radiology, and pathology.  We will accomplish this through innovative education, research, and patient-centered care.

Interprofessional education and practice lie in the core of this mission, and we actively participate in several joint projects with the Schools of Nursing and Medicine. Our research involves orofacial pain, oral premalignant disorders, pediatric oral medicine, and interprofesional education outcomes. I appreciate your interest in our department and invite you to explore the additional pages that contain relevant information about who we are.


Student Success at 151st Annual ODA Meeting

Dr. Syed and Lauren Thai‌Second-year dental student Lauren Thai was awarded a prize for a poster presentation at the recently concluded 151st Ohio Dental Association Annual Meeting. This is third year in a row that dental students represented under the mentorship of Dr. Ali Syed, Assistant Professor and Director of Radiology, have won prizes. The poster topic was on the prevalence of Pneumatization of the Crista Galli in the Dental Population.

Lauren expressed her satisfaction and is encouraging other dental students to participate in research, saying, "I would like to especially thank Dr. Ali Syed for the opportunity to be a part of this research. I am extremely lucky to have a mentor who cares about my work and supported me through my first research and presentation experience. Attending the ODA was a very rewarding and humbling experience. It was a wonderful opportunity to share and provide awareness to dentists and specialists about the Pneumatization of the Crista Galli as well as learn from others' experience and expertise.”


Dr. Syed Named Director of Admitting Clinic

Dr. Ali SyedEffective July 1, 2017, Dr. Ali Syed is the director of the School's Admitting Clinic. His responsibilities include overseeing clinic flow, student rotations, and the implementation of electronic health records for new patient visits. He will be working closely with the department staff and administration to enhance clinic operations and student rotations.



Drs. Milda Chmieliauskaite and Ali Syed Receive Glennan Fellowships

Drs. Chmieliauskaite and SyedDrs. Chmieliauskaite and Syed were among 5 tenure-track junior faculty across the university to receive 2017 Glennan Fellowships. Dr. Milda will work on innovative approaches to integration of basic and clinical sciences across the dental curriculum. She will design interactive cases that will be adaptative to student input and knowledge level. Dr. Syed will continue his work to develop a digital radiologic module on assessment of caries and periodontal disease.

More information on the fellowships is available at:

New Opioid Prescription Rules in Ohio

OpioidsEffective August 31, 2017, dentists are among health professionals included in a new ruling limiting prescriptions for opioids in the state of Ohio. The rule will limit prescriptions to 7 days for adults and 5 days for minors for acute pain. The impact of the ruling on the management of chronic head and neck pain was discussed by Dr. Andres Pinto, Chair of OMMDS for Ideastream.

Read the full story on Ideastream here:


North Coast Spring Dental Meeting

Yuanming Xu, Dr. Syed, Buthainah Jadallah

Members of OMMDS were awarded a distinction for a poster presented at the North Coast Spring Dental Meeting in May. The study, titled "Medial Vascular Calcification in Oral and Maxillofacial Region in Dental Patients" was directed by Dr. Ali Syed, Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Featured in the image (left to right) are Yuanming Xu, senior research assistant, Buthainah Jadallah, Oral Medicine fellow, and Dr. Syed.

The North Coast Spring Meeting was organized for the purpose of coordinating an annual northeast Ohio regional dental conference engaging the Greater Cleveland Dental Society with surrounding dental societies in northeast Ohio. The event features exhibitions of the newest dental equipment and world-class CE Programs, including presentations by several CWRU faculty members.


Student Presents at AAOMR Meeting

Stephanie Weng

Stephanie Weng, a third year dental student, presented a poster titled “Detection of Monckeberg Medial Arteriosclerosis on Conventional Dental Imaging” at the 67th annual meeting of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR), held in Scottsdale, Arizona. The poster presentation is about the unique presentation of calcification (Monckeberg Medial Calcification) in the facial vasculature. This type of calcification is noted in diabetic patients and chronic kidney failure patients. To date, few studies have reported on this type of calcification in the head and neck region. As dentists, we should recognize these abnormalities and appropriately refer them to physicians.

Stephanie said after her presentation that she “would like to thank Dr. Syed for this amazing opportunity. This is my first time presenting a poster and the experience at the AAOMR annual session was very rewarding. The lectures offered at the conference really opened up your eyes to different fields of dentistry, exchanging ideas, and establishing guidelines among different specialties; things that you wouldn’t be learning in dental school. Many innovative ideas and revolutionary findings were also presented during poster sessions. This is a unique experience that I would highly recommend dental students to participate in when opportunities come around."


Andres Pinto, PhD 

Dr. Andres Pinto, Chair

Dr. Pinto is Chairman and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. He is also an attending physician in the Department of Surgery, Divisions of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and a consultant in the VA system. He received his DMD, MPH, certificate in Clinical Research, and certificate in Oral Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine, a certificate in Dental Public Health from the National Institutes of Health, and an MBA in healthcare administration from the Weatherhead School of Management. Dr. Pinto is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine and holds an FDS from the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh). His clinical interests are the management of orofacial pain, oral mucosal disease, dental sleep medicine, oral oncology, pediatric oral medicine, and temporomandibular disorders. He has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, DHHS, and is a co-investigator in several NIH and industry funded trials.