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|What Is Orofacial Pain?|
Orofacial pain is pain perceived in the face and/or oral cavity. It is caused by diseases or disorders of regional structures, by dysfunction of the nervous system, or through referral from distant sources. Treatment of orofacial pain is a specialty in dentistry in many parts of the world and an emerging area of specialization in others.[i]
The Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association recognizes that advanced education in orofacial pain includes training beyond the level of predoctoral education in oral health care, using applied basic and behavioral sciences.[ii]
The orofacial pain dentist often serves as a consultant to other dentists, physicians and other healthcare providers, but is frequently the principal treating health care provider administering care at various levels. Therefore, the Orofacial Pain Dentist must be competent in the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention, of orofacial pain disorders.
The scope of Orofacial Pain includes diagnosis and treatment of, but not limited to:
The diagnosis and management of orofacial pain syndromes relies on the knowledge and skills of a clinician with expertise in:
Orofacial pain is an evolving area within the field of dentistry dedicated to the treatment of complex orofacial pain disorders. The scope of the field is enlarging.
[ii] Accreditation Standards for Advanced General Dentistry Education Programs in
Orofacial Pain, Commission on Dental Accreditation, American Dental Association, Copyright© 2009,