I think AAOP’s important role is that we do fund research–small research grants to the residents to help support benchtop and clinical research. AAOP also has speakers from the medical field; sometimes it’s PhDs and pharmacology. It really does draw on a lot of the research that’s being done and then present it to us as a way to stay alert of what’s coming down the pipeline– so what to watch for in two or three years. When we hear researchers talking about medications that are in the pipeline that we may be hearing of them two or three years from now, it will ring a bell and AAOP has already had a presentation on it so it won’t be totally alien.

Dr. Vanessa Benavent is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orofacial Pain and a Fellow in the American Academy of Orofacial Pain.  She is also a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.  She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 2009, pursued a General Practice Residency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, and then completed a two-year Masters program in Orofacial Pain at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now known as Rutgers) in 2012.

She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), has a private practice limited to orofacial pain and dental sleep medicine, and served as Clinical Director of the UMSOD Brotman Orofacial Pain Clinic.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Orofacial Pain and as a member of the Council of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, and is a contributing author of the AAOP’s “Orofacial Pain: Guidelines for Assessment, Diagnosis, and Management” textbook.

Dr. Benavent is a member of the American Dental Association, Howard County Dental Association, and is a Past President of the Maryland State Dental Association.  She was also a recipient of the American Dental Association’s 2017 “Top 10 Dentists Under 10 Years” Award. Dr. Benavent has been honored with Fellowship in the International College of Dentists. In 2019, Dr. Benavent was conferred the inaugural Rising Dental Health Leader Award by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

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