Infants, children, adolescents, and those with special health care needs can and do experience pain, and the majority of pain in the dental setting can be prevented or substantially relieved. It is important to recognize that pain assessment is an integral component of the child's dental history and comprehensive evaluation of a patient. When symptoms of signs of orofacial/dental pain are evident, providers at Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry detail and assess its level. This assessment helps the dentist to derive a clinical diagnosis, develop a prioritized treatment plan/approach, and better estimate analgesic requirements for the patients.
It is imperative to recognize that pain is difficult to measure due to its subjectivity, especially in children, and often the pediatric dentists at Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry rely on the report of parents. Pain experienced by children with special health care needs or developmental disabilities is more challenging to access accurately and often require utilization of scales that rely on observations such as vocalization, facial expressions, and body movements. Behavior therapy includes guided imagery, distraction, play therapy, and tell-show-do. Pharmacological therapy, on the other hand consists of adequate local anesthesia, anxiolysis, moderate sedation, or deep sedation regiments.