Penn Dental Medicine

Departments & Faculty

Elliot V. Hersh, DMD, MS, PhD

Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology


  • PhD, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UMDNJ, 1988
  • MS, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UMDNJ, 1983
  • DMD, New Jersey Dental School, UMDNJ, 1981
  • BS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1975


  • Basic Science Teaching Award (16 times in 20 years), Penn Dental Medicine
  • Distinguished Scientist Award in Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicoloy, IADR, 2007
  • Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, 1994

Research Interests

Dr. Hersh runs a very active clinical research program that plays a key role in developing and carrying out clinical protocols. His analgesic research team was instrumental in the granting of FDA approval to a number of analgesic and anesthetic agents such as ibuprofen liquigels (Advil Liquigels), OTC ketoprofen (Orudis KT), extended-release etodolac (Lodine XL), 4% articaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine (Septocaine 1:200,000) the transoral lidocaine patch (Dentipatch), and most recently phentolamine mesylate (OraVerse) for the reversal of soft tissue sensory and functional deficits induced by commonly employed local anesthetic solutions. His studies of analgesic agents have been published in peer review journals such as the Journal of the American Dental Association, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology, Clinical Therapeutics, Current Medical Research and Opinions, and The Journal of Clinical Dentistry. He was the 2007 recipient of the International Association of Dental Research Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Hersh directs and lectures in the undergraduate pharmacology and clinical therapeutics courses, the postgraduate clinical pharmacology course, and delivers presentations to the undergraduate Penn Dental Medicine students in the pain control and geriatrics series. He also teaches continuing education courses for Penn Dental Medicine and has been awarded the University’s highest teaching honor, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Dental School’s Excellence in the Teaching of Basic Science Award 16 times. He is also chairman of IRB #3, of the University’s Committee on Studies Involving Human Beings, and sits on the University’s Standing Conflict of Interest Committee and the Human Research Advisory Committee to the Vice Provost of Research.

Among recent publications, Dr. Hersh co-authored a commentary in the July 2016 issue of JADA on opioid prescriptions. Read Why Do We Prescribe Vicodin?

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Elliot V. Hersh, DMD, MS, PhD
The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030