Original Publication
Open Access

DC/TMD Examination Protocol

Published: November 20, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9946

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.docx
  • DC TMD Movie.mp4

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: This 19½-minute video is an illustration of the standardized clinical examination based on the diagnostic criteria for temporomandibular disorders (DC/TMD). The video was created because of the considerable challenges associated with developing competency in the clinical examination protocol. Typically, multiple learning/training exercises are required in order to achieve mastery. Specifically, this video was conceptualized to address the difficulty that examiners have in integrating their verbal commands, clinical procedures, and responses given by patients. Methods: The intended audience includes potential clinical examiners for TMD and dental or medical educators who are teaching the standardized clinical examination for TMD. If implemented in a formal training setting, the video should be used to illustrate how to perform the clinical examination; the instructor/trainer can display the procedures one video segment at a time and follow that with group discussion in order to further explain and to respond to questions. After watching the video, examiner trainees should be paired with a supervisor and practice hands-on implementation of the protocol. If the video is implemented as a self-learning tool, the examiner trainee will benefit from having a training partner. After fully reviewing the video, the two trainees can practice examination procedures on each other, while stepping through the video. Supervision from a trainer is still recommended for final calibration, if possible. Results: We have used this video during the last two years as part of both field-testing the examination protocol and field-testing the video as one component of training. The video has been field-tested in both the US and Europe. Feedback from examiner trainees has been incorporated, making the final product the outcome of multiple revisions. Examiner trainees have tended to report a higher level of difficulty, and these issues have been addressed as well. Discussion: A major limitation of this work is that it is only presented in English, whereas examiner trainees speak many languages. We are coordinating with several colleagues to translate the clinical protocol into at least 25 languages. It is our goal to eventually incorporate accepted translations into the video in either text or voice formats.

Educational Objectives

Use of this video will:

  1. Orient potential examiners in the implementation of the standardized examination protocol.
  2. Demonstrate the verbal commands embraced in the standardized protocol.
  3. Illustrate the actual examination procedures included in the standardized protocol.
  4. Illustrate the types of responses given by patients during the examination and how such responses trigger secondary probes for clarification by the examiner.
  5. Exemplify how the examiner codes the responses given by the patient.
  6. Demonstrate the flow of the examination and the interaction expected between the patient and the examiner.

Author Information

  • Yoly Gonzalez, DDS, MS, MPH: University at Buffalo
  • Jason Chwirut: University at Buffalo
  • Thomas List: Malmo University
  • Richard Ohrbach: University at Buffalo

None to report.

None to report.


Gonzalez Y, Chwirut J, List T, Ohrbach R. DC/TMD examination protocol. MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9946. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9946

This publication is co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.