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Area Health Education Center (AHEC)


AHEC Biosketch


Dr. Gregory Essick

Dr. Gregory Essick (More Detail)


Dr. Essick is a professor in the UNC School of Dentistry Department of Prosthodontics and Center for Pain Research and Innovation. He is adjunct professor in the Department of Allied Health Science at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He completed his D.D.S. and his Ph.D. training in physiology at the University and post-doctoral work in neurophysiology at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, Calif. He has served full-time on the faculty at UNC for the past 29 years.

Currently, Dr. Essick lectures in both basic science and preclinical prosthodontics courses, he is a laboratory instructor in the preclinical removable prosthodontic courses, and he supervises students in the predoctoral removable prosthodontics clinics. Most recently, he has expanded his lecturing to include dental sleep medicine, the use of oral appliances to treat obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and related disorders. In addition to lecturing to dental students and dental hygiene students, he provides the schools continuing education on dental sleep medicine to practicing dentists in North Carolina. He also teaches in the Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science Bachelors of Science Program at UNC. He is very active in the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and chairs the research committee and ethics committee of the Academy. Dr. Essick is a productive provider in the UNC Dental Faculty Practice, focusing on dental sleep medicine. In consultation with the patient's physician, therapy for sleep-disordered breathing is tailored to the needs of the individual patient.

Dr. Essick is an investigator of research conducted within the School of Dentistry's Center for Pain Research and Innovation. Through collaboration with faculty in the Department of Orthodontics, Dr. Essick also studies facial sensation in patients who undergo orthognathic surgery for correction of dentofacial anomalies. Dr. Essick collaborates with food scientists at North Carolina State University to better understand how food texture affects chewing and food perception. His most current and expanding research involves studies of the association between sleep-disordered breathing and oral disease/disorders, such as periodontal disease and temporomandibular disorder. He authors/co-authors over 100 published manuscripts and over 10 book chapters.