Jonathan Fillmore, D.M.D., M.D., conducts clinical research examining outcomes for patients undergoing a variety of oral and facial surgeries. His clinical studies range from routine dental extractions in medically compromised patients to evaluation of different methods of complex facial reconstructions in order to improve patient quality of life and return to function. In addition, Dr. Fillmore has a special interest in improving resident education. He studies mentorship and education methods to this end.
- Osteoradionecrosis. Osteoradionecrosis of the jaws is a debilitating disease that occurs after treatment for some head and neck cancers. Dr. Fillmore collaborates with radiation oncologists to study ways to minimize its occurrence and prevent high degrees of radiation damage.
- Trigeminal nerve injury. Surgical repair of nerve injury may be accomplished by various means. Dr. Fillmore studies reconstruction of nerves that are lost in conjunction with removal of tumors or cancer of the jaws.
- Dentoalveolar surgery in medically complex patients. Medically compromised patients may require routine dental extractions to prevent infectious complications of their diseases. These extractions may present a greater risk than in unaffected individuals. Dr. Fillmore has studied the effects of extraction on cancer patients and on patients with bleeding risks.
- Resident and medical education. Education research is a special area of interest. In particular, Dr. Fillmore studies resident competency, surgical simulation and mentorship, with an eye toward improving the next generation of surgeons and helping them achieve more than the previous generation.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Fillmore's clinical research efforts help establish guidelines for patient care to mitigate risks of treatment and minimize unnecessary medical procedures. In addition, he and his colleagues are working to improve protocols for postoperative pain in patients undergoing reconstructive surgery of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which will improve the surgical experience and hasten postoperative recovery and return to normal activity.
Education research helps the specialty improve methods of teaching the next generation of surgeons in order to meet patients' needs in a constantly evolving, complex medical environment.