Sometimes people living with trigeminal neuralgia fear that they are invisible, that nobody in the medical field is interested in the disorder and that there is no hope.
However there are many inspiring medical professionals who have dedicated their lives to researching and treating facial pain disorders.
One such professional was Steven Graff-Radford DDS who sadly passed away at the age off 59 in 2016
Dr. Graff-Radford came to UCLA in 1978 as a young dental school graduate from South Africa. He had been accepted to UCLA’s Oral Surgery Residency program and was exploring educational opportunities in the dental school prior to beginning his program.
He began studying temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and was interested in the way chronic pain was being treated at the UCLA Department of Anesthesia Pain Management Center. In 1982, Dr. Graff-Radford was offered a fellowship in pain management, which became his life’s focus. After completing the program, he began teaching and treating patients at the center and eventually became the education director.
In 1990, he approached the dental school administrators with a proposal to create an orofacial pain residency program. The program became the first residency program in orofacial pain in the world and became a model for similar programs. His program was so impactful that it became the example that the American Board of Orofacial Pain adopted for their board exam.
He published 150 research papers involving facial pain and dentistry and provided pain relief for many of his patients.
One article can be accessed below and the questions he poses throughout the article are pertinent for medical professionals and patients. So often we have to educate ourselves.
The FPA also posted a tribute to Dr Graff-Radford in their journal on pages 5-6