PDF: Chronic idiopathic orofacial pain: II - What can the general dental practitioner do?


Currently, the majority of facial pain patients are referred onto specialists but there are treatment options available to the primary care practitioner and, indeed, good reasons for interception at the acute stage to prevent the development of chronicity. 



This paper attempts to synthesize contemporary theory and clinical evidence into a management strategy for the general dental practitioner.


In brief
• The pain history is the key to diagnosis.
• Pain is only very loosely related to dental or TMJ pathology.
• Sympathetic enquiry, into how the pain interferes with the patient’s life, will reveal goals for improvement.
• Early discussion and intervention may prevent the development of chronic symptoms.

T. Newton-John,1 G. Madland,2 and C. Feinmann,3
1Consultant in Clinical Psychology, Eastman Dental
Institute and Hospital; 2Clinical Tutor in Oral
Medicine, Eastman Dental Institute and Hospital,
265 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8LD; and
Research Fellow in Health Psychology, Royal Free &
University College Medical School, 2nd Floor, 48
Riding House Street, London W1N 8AA;
3*Reader in Psychiatry, Eastman Dental Institute and
Hospital and Royal Free & University College
Hospital
BRITISH DENTAL JOURNAL VOLUME 191 NO. 2 JULY 28 2001