Pain is a basic human response and a major trigger to seeking health care. Although all dentists are trained in managing acute pain, far fewer dentists are trained in treating chronic pain conditions. Yet, chronic orofacial pain is quite common and may occur after routine dental procedures. Thus dentists will likely encounter patients who need help to manage, cope with, or adapt to their chronic pain.
This intermediate-level course is intended to address this training deficit by providing dental healthcare professionals with an overview of the nature and scope of chronic pain, as well as basic skills for effective assessment and adjunctive treatments of chronic orofacial pain conditions and related problems. To accomplish these goals, the course first examines the basic physiological principles that underlie pain, describes the distinction between acute and chronic pain, and explains the factors that contribute to acute pain becoming chronic. The prevalence and impact of chronic pain on physical functioning, health, and quality of life are examined. An introduction to the practical assessment of chronic pain provides readers with a description of selected assessment tools and interview procedures.
Dental practitioners may be more familiar with diagnosing and treating pain specific sources of pain such as temporomandibular pain, however, the emphasis of this course is the assessment of chronic pain and comorbid conditions along with a discussion of pharmacologic and biobehavioral treatment modalities. For that reason, this course provides an overview of common medications used to treat chronic orofacial pain and discusses issues surrounding addiction and adherence to a prescribed medication regimen.
Finally, the course provides basic information on empirically-supported psychosocial treatment strategies that can be useful when working with clients who are experiencing chronic pain. After taking this course, the participant will be able to assess the patient with chronic orofacial pain, identify comorbid disorders, and recommend appropriate treatment or referral options.
AGD Subject Code: 190
Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.
Michigan Dentists - Fulfills your pain & pain symptom management requirement.