Orofacial Pain and Your Dental Office

As a dentist you hold the key to a lot more than you may know. Previously we discussed sleep apnea and your office. In addition to treating sleep apnea, you can also provide appropriate treatment for patients suffering from orofacial pain. The specialty of orofacial pain focuses on the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of orofacial pain disorders.

Such disorders may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy. Syndromes in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as TMJ disorder pain, neuropathic pains or headaches, may also cause Orofacial pain.

The diagnosis of painful syndromes requires you, the dentist, to properly interpret historical data, including:

  • Review of laboratory studies
  • Imaging
  • Behavioral, social and occupational assessment
  • Interview and examination by the orofacial pain specialist

Orofacial pain is constantly evolving, which is why it is important to receive further education and training so that you can provide your patients with improved services beyond the norm. Currently, the area of orofacial pain encompasses the following areas:

  • Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD)
  • Sleep disorders related to orofacial pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Intraoral, intracranial, extracranial and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain

Please visit my “Lectures” page at http://www.mpateldds.com/lectures/ to learn more about upcoming lectures on craniofacial pain, TMD or dental sleep medicine. I also offer consulting, to further improve your practice and your understanding of these different areas of dentistry. Improve your practice and expand your knowledge in dentistry by understanding orofacial pain.

Diagnose and Treat TMD in Your Office

According to the American Dental Association, approximately 34% of the U.S. population suffers from temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Many times, patients do not even realize they have TMD, which is where you come into the picture. With an estimated 34% of patients suffering from TMD it is your job as their dentist to identify and treat these disorders, as they become apparent.

TMD is a progressive disorder that can worsen over time, which makes it imperative that this painful condition is treated as early as possible. By receiving continuing dental education, you can learn how to properly identify and treat TMD in your office.  This will allow you to be able to identify TMD within your patients at their bi-annual dental checkups, which can save them a lifetime of pain.

As mentioned previously, I encourage you to visit http://www.mpateldds.com/upcoming-lecture/ to learn about upcoming lectures to further improve the services you offer at your dental practice. You can also contact me for consulting options. Through consulting, I can help you introduce TMD and Dental Sleep Medicine into your office. From your office to your marketing plan, consultation is key.

Take the next step toward improving your patients’ oral and overall health by furthering your dental education with the addition of TMD to your dental office.

AACP Mini Dental Sleep Residency

What a wonderful time teaching the first Class 1 (3 part Mini Sleep Residency) at the Atlanta Sleep School. Dentists were exposed to hands-on and didactic material to get them ready for identifying and treating non-complaint CPAP patients with oral appliances. Also, dentists were exposed to managing side effects and complications that may present with oral appliance therapy.

Thank you Class 1 of the mini residency. Class 2 will begin in September 2014 in Dallas, TX.