Dr. Harvey Wigdor, Professor, OMDS, is Chief of the new clinic, which is located on the first floor of the College.
"It's not just a name change," Dr. Wigdor explained. "It's a significant difference. We have been treating Orofacial Pain in patients. But now that we've brought on Dr. Jasjot Sahni, who was trained at Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California  in an Orofacial Pain/Oral Medicine residency, her presence makes a tremendous difference in treating unusual and unique Orofacial Pain patients."
Dr. Wigdor also noted that Dr. Beth Miloro, Clinical Assistant Professor, OMDS, also is a key faculty member in the Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain Clinic.
"This clinic can only be successful with outstanding clinicians such as Dr. Miloro, Dr. Sahni, and others," he said.
Besides an increased emphasis on treating Orofacial Pain, Dr. Wigdor noted that the new clinic will "provide the dental students with more of an understanding of the medical model—how to take a good health history," he said. "When you read the literature on physical diagnosis, many practitioners believe that 80% of performing a correct diagnosis is attained through proper health histories."
Collaboration is another emphasis at the new clinic. "We had a patient suffering from Crohn's disease who was developing oral ulcers," Dr. Wigdor explained. "Oral ulcers are not uncommon with patients who present with Crohn's or irritable bowel syndrome, but dentists and gastroenterologists may not always be familiar with this. That's an example of why they should collaborate and why taking a good health history is crucial."
He also said that the clinic is developing a closer collaboration with the Department of Dermatology at UI Health. "A lot of what we treat are dermatologic lesions," Dr. Wigdor explained. "There are times we need to lean on a dermatologist to help us out because there are a lot of medicines available for dermatologic lesions that they work with much more commonly than we do."
The Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain Clinic also welcomes outside referrals.
Dr. Wigdor earned his DDS in 1976 and his MS in Oral Pathology, both from the College, in 1984.
"I was in the first dental class in the College building in 1972, so I've been here 35 years," Dr. Wigdor said. "So I basically opened up the place and never left."
After he earned his DDS, Dr. Wigdor was invited by Dr. Daniel M. Laskin, then head of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, to become an attending in the Oral Surgery Clinic in the General Practice Residency Program at the University of Illinois Hospital .
Dr. Wigdor noted that about 20 years ago, then OMDS-head Dr. Joel Epstein asked him to join the Oral Medicine Clinic.
Dr. Wigdor also thanked Dr. Richard Monahan, Head of OMDS, for naming him Chief of the new Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain Clinic.
In addition to his work at the College, Dr. Wigdor spent 15 years as Chair of the Department of Dentistry at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital and directed its General Practice Residency training program.