Orofacial Pain (OFP) is the specialty of dentistry that encompasses the diagnosis, management and treatment of pain disorders of the jaw, mouth, face and associated regions.
Good dental practice requires that a dental practitioner be aware of those medical conditions that might present first with oral manifestations and those for which special considerations are required before dental treatment is rendered. In view of the rapid changes in the understanding and treatment of disease, it is essential that a dentist be current in his knowledge of medicine and be aware of the established and accepted methods of patient management.
The specialty of OFP is dedicated to the evidenced-based understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, etiology, prevention, and treatment of these disorders and improving access to interdisciplinary patient care. These disorders as they relate to orofacial pain include but are not limited to temporomandibular muscle and joint (TMJ) disorders, jaw movement disorders, neuropathic and neurovascular pain disorders, headache, and sleep disorders. The clinician needs to have solid knowledge of the pain conditions that arise from these structures for proper diagnosis and a multidisciplinary approach of management is strongly recommended.
The orofacial pain specialist has the experience and the knowledge to provide a correct diagnosis and management of these conditions. A multidisciplinary approach is ideal in the management of orofacial pain disorders. Understanding the pain neurobiology of the trigeminal system is key to the development of better and safer therapeutics. It is necessary to stress the need for randomized controlled clinical trials that evaluate the efficacy of current and new therapies for the management of orofacial pains. New and exciting discoveries from the bench to the bedside will hopefully put an end to the burden of chronic orofacial pain conditions in the near future.
At the Craniofacial Pain Centre, we are devoted to the diagnosis and management of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMJ) and chronic head, neck and facial pain., we incorporate true multidisciplinary approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of complex pain problems. The complexity of pain in geriatric group is a emerging filed with TMJ related disorders.