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Article: Volume 42 Number 2 Page 109 - March 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 109-124

Oral surgery:  Pain Part 1: Introduction to Pain

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Abstract: This series of papers aims to provide the dental and medical teams with an update in pain, both acute and chronic orofacial conditions, relevant to dentistry and medicine. Pain is the most common symptom for patients presenting to their dentist, and is increasingly commonly presenting to doctors as well, in general practice and A & E departments. Most of the dental team take for granted their knowledge and ability to manage acute dental pain. However, the education and preparation in managing patients with chronic pain conditions remains poor in many medical and dental schools. Conversely, medics are better educated and exposed to chronic pain during their undergraduate education, however, with regards to orofacial pain education, exposure is diminishing due to decreased exposure to dentistry, ENT, otolaryngology, OMFS and oral surgery. Thus many clinical teams remain disadvantaged when diagnosing and managing orofacial pain.

Clinical relevance: Significant advances that have been made in understanding the pain mechanisms are not to be overlooked and have a huge impact on how we manage patients in pain.

Author notes: Tara Renton, BDS, MDSc, PhD, FRACDS(OMS), FDS RCS, FHEA, Professor, Department Oral Surgery, King’s College London Dental Institute, King’s College Hospital London, Bessemer Road, London SE5 9RS, UK.

Objective: To recognize and manage pain mechanisms when treating patients.