UConn HealthThe Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center

Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer/Oral Oncology Program

Photo of Joseph A. D’Ambrosio, D.D.S., M.S.Joseph A. D’Ambrosio, D.D.S., M.S.

Dr. D’Ambrosio is Associate Professor and Chair of the Section of Oral Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He has been a full-time member of the dental school faculty since 1989, as well as a member of the staff of the John Dempsey Hospital. Dr. D’Ambrosio’s clinical focus has been in the management of medically complex patients, including those with cancer and chemosensory disorders. He serves on numerous UConn Health and School of Dental Medicine committees, and is currently a curriculum consultant for the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Dr. D’Ambrosio is an active member of the American Academy of Oral Medicine, and has been an invited speaker at numerous local, state and national meetings.


  • Associate Professor and Chair, Section of Oral Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
  • Hospital Staff, Department of Dentistry, John Dempsey Hospital


  • Oral Medicine


  • Oncology
  • Chemosensory Disorders

Diplomate, American Board of Oral Medicine

B.A., Columbia University, 1976
D.D.S., SUNY at Buffalo, 1980
M.S., SUNY at Buffalo, 1986

General Practice Residency in Dentistry, Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, NY


  • Department of Dentistry, John Dempsey Hospital

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, American College of Dentists
  • Fellow, Pierre Fauchard Academy
  • Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society (Phi Chi Chapter, University of Connecticut)
  • Past President, Organization of Teachers of Oral Diagnosis
  • Councilor, American Dental Education Association
  • Curriculum Consultant and Predoctoral Education Review Committee Member, American Dental Association - Commission on Dental Education

Selected Publications

D’Ambrosio J, Wagner J, Jennings M, Pfeiffer C. Tobacco Cessation Counseling. MedEdPORTAL; 2013. Available from: www.mededportal.org/publication/9341

Rogers H, Sollecito TP, Felix DH, Yepes JF, Williams M, D’Ambrosio JA, Hodgson TA, Prescott-Clements L, Wray D, Kerr AR. An international survey in postgraduate training in Oral Medicine. Oral Diseases 17 (Suppl. 1):95-98, 2011.

D’Ambrosio J (Contributing Author). Clinician’s Guide to Salivary and Chemosensory Disorders-First Edition. American Academy of Oral Medicine. Atlas Books E-Book, ISBN: 978-1-936176-22-9, 2009.

Wagner J, Arteaga S, D’Ambrosio J, Hodge C, Ioannidou E, Pfeiffer C, Yong L, Reisine S. Dental Students’ Attitudes Toward Treating Diverse Patients: Effects of a Cross-Cultural Patient Instructor Program. Journal of Dental Education 72:1128-1134, 2008.

Wagner J, Arteaga S, D’Ambrosio J, Hodge C, Ioannidou E, Pfeiffer C, Yong L, Reisine S. A Patient Instructor Program to Promote Dental Students Communication Skills with Diverse Patients. Journal of Dental Education 71:1554-60, 2007.

D’Ambrosio JA. Tobacco use in older adults: oral health consequences and cessation guidelines. Healthcare and Aging Newsletter, American Society on Aging, Spring 2007.

D’Ambrosio J (Contributing Author). Clinician’s Guide to Treatment of Common Oral Conditions-6th edition. American Academy of Oral Medicine. Hamilton: BC Decker, 2006.

Lalla RV, D’Ambrosio JA. Dental management considerations for the patient with diabetes mellitus. JADA 132 (10):1425-32, 2001.

Sonis ST, Eilers JP, Epstein JB et al and the Musositis Study Group (includes D’Ambrosio,J). Validation of a new scoring system for the assessment of clinical trial research of oral mucositis induced by radiation or chemotherapy. Cancer 85 (10):2103-2113, 1999.

Spruance SL, Rowe NH, Raborn GW, Thibodeau EA, D’Ambrosio JA, Bernstein DI. Peroral famciclovir in the treatment of experimental ultraviolet radiation-induced herpes simplex labialis: A double-blind, dose-ranging, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. J Infect Dis 179(2):303-310, 1999.

Thibodeau EA, D’Ambrosio JA. Measurement of lip and skin pigmentation using reflectance spectrophotometry. Eur J Oral Sci 105:373-375, 1997.

Barasch A, Eisenberg E, D’Ambrosio JA, Nuki K, Peterson DE. Oral verruca vulgaris in a bone marrow transplant patient: a case report and review of literature. Oral Oncol, Eur J Cancer 32B:137-139, 1996.

Barasch A, Peterson DE, Tanzer JM, D’Ambrosio JA, Nuki K, Schubert MM, Franquin JC, Clive J, Tutschka P. Helium-neon laser effects on conditioning-induced oral mucositis in bone marrow transplant patients. Cancer 76:2550-2556, 1995.

Myers WE, Hettinger TP, D’Ambrosio JA, Wendt SL, Pearson CB, Barry MA, Frank ME. Visualizing taste papillae in vivo with scanning electron microscopy of a high resolution cast. Chemical Senses 20:1-8, 1995.

Peterson DE, D’Ambrosio JA. Nonsurgical management of head and neck cancer patients. The Dental Clinics of North America. 38:425-445, 1994.

Barasch A, Mosier KM, D’Ambrosio JA, Giniger MS, Ascensao JA, Peterson DE. Postextraction osteomyelitis in a bone marrow transplant recipient. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 75: 391-396, 1993.

D’Ambrosio JA, Raborn GW. Diagnostic considerations for the medically complex patient. In D’Ambrosio J, Fotos P (eds): Topics in Oral Diagnosis I — The Dental Clinics of North America. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1992; 36: 841-855.

Peterson DE, D’Ambrosio JA. Diagnosis and management of acute and chronic oral complications of nonsurgical cancer therapies. In D’Ambrosio J, Fotos P (eds): Topics in Oral Diagnosis I — The Dental Clinics of North America. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1992; 36: 945-966.

D’Ambrosio J, Fischman S. Dentistry in the hospital. In Hardin JF (ed.): Clark’s Clinical Dentistry. Vol. 1, Ch. 32, pp. 1-8. J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1989.

Wood N, Yale E, D’Ambrosio, J. Oral Cancer — its many faces: symptoms, clinical and radiographic appearances. Illinois State Dental Journal 57: 330-333, 1988.

D'Ambrosio J, Langlais R, Young R. Jaw and skull changes in neurofibromatosis. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 66: 391-396, 1988.

D'Ambrosio J. Student hospital dentistry experiences: the realities of the effort. NY State Dental Journal 54: 41-43, 1988.

D'Ambrosio J, Adragna M. Guidelines for the use of local anesthetics in the dental treatment of patients who are susceptible to malignant hyperthermia. Special Care in Dentistry 8: 61-63, 1988.

D'Ambrosio J, Schiff T, McDavid W, Langland O. Diagnostic quality vs. patient exposure with five panoramic screen-film combinations. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 61: 409-411, 1986.

Schiff T, D'Ambrosio J, Glass B, Langlais R, McDavid W. Common positioning and technical errors in panoramic radiography. J Am Dent Assoc. 113: 422-426, 1986.

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Research Interests

Clinical Research

  • Utilization of patient instructors to promote health care provider communication skills

Patient Resources

At UConn Health

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