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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.

Our vision is to become a world-class center for oral medicine education and research and the diagnosis and non-surgical management of disorders occurring in the oral and maxillofacial complex. 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.


Students Present at AAOMR

Students Raquel Rios and Laurel CookRaquel Rios and Laurel Cook, third year dental students, made poster presentations at the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR)'s 66th annual meeting held in Indianapolis, Indiana at the end of September. The poster presentations were titled, “A Review of Unusually Large Mastoid Foramen as Noted on CBCT” and, “Thyroid Papillary Microcarcinoma: An Incidental Finding in a Patient with Coronoid Hyperplasia”.

Raquel and Laurel said that it was an honor to attend the AAOMR conference this year. It was their first time presenting their scholarly work at a national conference and they learned so much throughout the process. They also learned a lot about Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology--a specialty within dentistry that is relatively new, but growing rapidly. As dental students, they often focus on treatment and procedures, but this experience provided an important reminder that diagnosis of disease is the cornerstone of dentistry and fortunately, there is a wealth of resources available to us to provide optimal diagnostic services.

Dr. Ali Z. Syed, Assistant Professor and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, has mentored these projects. In addition to mentoring, he presented several posters and also made an oral presentation titled, “Instruction Methods and Technology in Radiology Teaching & Engaging the Millennial Classroom” at the annual meeting. Dr. Syed said he is delighted to see students presenting their scholarly work at national conferences.

DMD Student Cleo Sin Wins ODA Award

Cleo Sin‌Second year dental student Cleo Sin presented her summer research project at the recently concluded Ohio Dental Association (ODA) meeting in Columbus. The summer research project was funded by the Interprofessional Scholars Collaboration in Teaching and Learning (iSCTL) grant. This funding provided a platform for collaborative scholarly work between faculty and students with different backgrounds (medical, dental, and nursing). Ms. Sin's project, “Web Based Interactive Radiographic Anatomy”, won the Best Show award among several presentations.

“I had not presented research at a conference before, so aside from being new to the environment, it was exciting and more fun than expected; though I was standing for a couple of hours talking about the same topic, it did not feel monotonous and time went by really fast. Every conversation after the presentation was different and it was enjoyable,” said Ms. Sin.

Her mentor on the project was Dr. Ali Z. Syed, Assistant Professor and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences.

Dr. Syed Awarded Multiple Fellowships

Dr. Ali SyedDr. Ali Syed, Assistant Professor in the OMMDS Department, has received multiple research and learning fellowships for this academic year: a learning fellowship, an inter-scholar teaching (iSCTL) fellowship, and an active learning fellowship.

The learning fellowship is offered to faculty interested in enhancing their teaching experience. Sessions help faculty interact with each other across the University. These fellowships are offered through the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE) as part of a University effort to enhance teaching methods and make better educators.

The Interprofessional Scholars Collaboration in Teaching and Learning (iSCTL) program is a competitive program that helps to foster collaboration among dental, nursing, and medical educators and students. It focuses on multiple aspects of abstract presentation, poster preparation, and educational scholarship. It also offers resources that streamline research projects by turning educational ideas into scholarly activity.

The Active Learning Fellowship is held in partnership with Information Technology Services (ITS), the Office of the Provost, and UCITE. It enables faculty to modify and enhance active learning methods in their courses.

Dr. Syed is honored and excited to receive these fellowships. With the knowledge and experience he gains through them, he hopes to enhance and promote teaching. It is a wonderful opportunity and he strongly encourages other faculty to take advantage of the wonderful resources that are available on the CWRU campus. He would like to thank Dr. Andres Pinto, chair of the OMMDS Department, for encouraging and promoting faculty development activities like these.

Read more about the active learning fellowship awards here...

Dr. Pinto Receives National Dental Association Foundation Award

Dr. Andres PintoDr. Andres Pinto has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 National Dental Association Foundation (NDAF) and Colgate-Palmolive Co. Award for Outstanding Minority Faculty in the category of research. The NDAF, in collaboration with the National Dental Association (NDA) and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) have awarded these annual honors for the past 18 years. They recognize excellence in the categories of teaching, research, and service within dental education. The award was presented to Dr. Pinto at the National Dental Association’s 102th Annual Convention in Chicago in July. Dr. Pinto has been a tenured faculty member at CWRU since 2013 and led the creation of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. He is an active member of the staff of CWRU and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Dr. Ali Syed Earns Diplomate Status from American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (ABOMR)

Dr. Ali SyedDr. Syed, an assistant professor in the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, recently achieved Diplomate status from American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (ABOMR). The title Diplomate is the academic hallmark of professionalism and commitment to the highest standards of patient care in the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Dr. Syed will be officially recognized as a Diplomate during the American Academy of Oral Radiology’s annual meeting to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in September of 2015. The ABOMR is the only certifying board for the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and is one of the nine specialty boards recognized by the American Dental Association. To learn more please visit:

Andres Pinto, PhD 

Dr. Andres Pinto, DMD, MPH, FDSRCSEd, Chair

Dr. Pinto is Chairman and Associate Professor of Oral 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 Case Medical Center and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. 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. 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 oral mucosal disease, oral oncology, orofacial pain, temporomandibular disorders, and pediatric oral medicine. He has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HRSA, and is a co-investigator in several NIH and industry funded trials.