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Article: Volume 42 Number 5 Page 442 - June 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 442-462

Oral surgery:  Pain Part 3: Acute Orofacial Pain

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Abstract: Acute trigeminal pain is a common presentation in the dental surgery, with a reported 22% of the US adult population experiencing orofacial pain more than once during a 6-month period.1 This article discusses the mechanisms underlying the pain experience, diagnosis and subsequent management of acute trigeminal pain, encompassing pre-, peri- and post-operative analgesia. The dental team spend most of their working lives managing patients and acute pain. The patient may present to the clinician in existing pain, which may often provide a diagnostic challenge. Prevention and managing intra-operative and post-surgical pain are implicit in providing your patient with optimum care.

Clinical relevance: This paper aims to provide an overview of conditions that may present with acute orofacial pain and their management using the most recent evidence base. Intra-operative and post-surgical pain management are also scrutinized and evidence-based treatment is recommended.

Author notes: Nadine Khawaja, BDS, MJDF MSurgDent, Specialist Academic Trainee, Department of Oral Surgery and Tara Renton, BDS, MDSc, PhD, FARCDS(OMS) FDS, RCS FHEA, Professor of Oral Surgery, King’s College London Dental Institute, King’s College Hospital London, Bessemer Road, London SE5 9RS, UK.

Objective: To provide an overview of the relevant management strategies for acute orofacial pain and highlight how to overcome some diagnostic challenges.