Martha E. Rich, D.M.D.
Dentist and Practice Owner
Upon entering into private practice shortly after graduation from OHSU in 1981, Dr. Rich began to recognize that her fundamental dental education did not offer enough information to adequately address the temporomandibular joint disorders, chronic headache pain, and malocclusion or ‘bad bites’ that many of her patients suffered with. In order to help her patients heal from these disorders and prevent future damage, Dr. Rich began attending what would grow into hundreds of hours of continuing education courses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of TMJ disorders. Eventually she would earn her Mastership with the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics in 1996, and then a subsequent Fellowship with the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain in 2002. Now, with more than 30 years of clinical experience and original research on the subject of TMJ disorders and functional occlusion, Dr. Rich regularly lectures and presents her findings on the diagnostic relationships between muscle function, facial pain, and occlusion to dentists, orthodontists, and other medical professionals all around the United States and abroad.
Dr. Rich as a Teacher
Teaching has long been a passion and a source of inspiration for Dr. Rich. From 1984 to 1991, she was an associate professor of Fixed Prosthodontics at the OHSU School of Dentistry. In addition to teaching in the laboratories and clinics, Dr. Rich also diagnosed and treated complicated occlusion cases for other faculty members and students, and taught occlusion courses. It was during her research and instruction on TMJ disorders and the science of occlusion (bites) that Dr. Rich also became interested in orthodontics and how the re-positioning of the bite could improve the function of the entire system. Thus began another course of several hundred additional hours of study in functional orthodontics for Dr. Rich.
For more than 30 years now, Dr. Rich has offered functional and cosmetic orthodontic treatment to both children and adults using a neuromuscular approach designed to orthodontically realign the bite in order to support healthier muscle and joint development. She earned the title of Senior Certified Instructor from the International Association for Orthodontics and she is excited to facilitate the advancement of this knowledge among her peers. She recently taught a number of classes in functional orthodontics and airway development to dentists for the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry.
The complex interrelationships between the different systems of the body have always fascinated Dr. Rich. Beyond the functional relationships between the jaw, facial muscles, and bite, Dr. Rich is also deeply interested in the effect of oral health on the overall health of the body, and has focused her practice around the concept of providing the highest quality dental care in support of whole body wellness. Sleep airway disorders and proper airway development in children are also of specific interest to Dr. Rich. She has been a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine since 2002, and regularly works in conjunction with other physicians and sleep medicine practitioners in order to help patients with obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep airway disorders. Dr. Rich is a firm believer in cooperative healthcare, and has worked hard to create a network of general physicians, specialists, and alternative healthcare providers with whom she can partner in providing the most comprehensive care for her patients.
Dr. Rich is also a graduate of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies where she studied facial esthetics and the science of smile design. She is certified by the World Clinical Laser Institute in the use of a hard-tissue laser for laser-assisted dentistry, and she earned her Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry in 2006. In 2015, Dr. Rich was appointed to the Board of the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Rich has been in private practice in downtown Portland, Oregon since 1981. She is married and enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities including walking, gardening, biking, skiing, and hiking. She is an avid sports fan, attending as many of her grandchildren’s games as her schedule allows. She also loves the performing arts, movies, and attending plays. She continues to read a great deal and vows to never stop learning.