Accidents don’t only cause obvious injuries. Often, long after the cuts, scrapes, abrasions, broken bones and missing teeth have been treated, patients experience lingering pain and discomfort.
Living with that constant pain and dysfunction can be debilitating, and it’s just as important to find and treat these hidden pains and conditions as it is to cure and repair the more obvious aches, pains and injuries.
When patients are experiencing injury related pain that is not as easy to diagnose and treat, a dental status examination can get patients back on track to good health and full functionality.
What Is a Dental Status Exam??
A dental status examination is a service we offer that determines the likely cause of a patient’s otherwise undiagnosed orofacial pain, and offers pain management treatments and therapies to help them fully recover.
A dental status examination will include a patient history, detailed visual examination of their teeth, jaws and tissues, and careful examination of x-rays and imaging. We will consider information provided by the referrer, and prepare a report for their doctors and dentist where necessary.
Who Refers Patients for Dental Status Exams??
There are several types of person who might refer a patient to our office for a dental status exam.
Sometimes, it’s the patient’s doctor or dentist who seeks assistance in diagnosing and treating orofacial pain and dysfunction. Sometimes, it’s an insurance company or physical therapist who discovers that the patient may have untreated conditions that are causing orofacial pain.
Whoever refers the patient to us for a DSE, however, the goal is always to determine what is causing the pain, and to treat the cause and bring relief.
What Kind of Treatment Do Patients Receive??
There are many potential causes of orofacial pain, so it’s hard to say with any degree of accuracy what the treatment might be in an individual case, however, when patients do see us for a DSE, there are several potential treatments that might form a part of their individual treatment plan:
- Home care protocols and therapies.
- Trigger point injections, joint injections and medical Botox.
- Oral appliances.
- Pain medications.
We are also able to refer patients on if they require other types of treatment or surgery to properly treat their condition.
The Goal of Dental Status Examinations?
Patients come to us for many different types of pain, and each case is unique, but the goal of dental status examinations is always the same: to diagnose the root cause of the pain they are experiencing, and to provide a treatment or cure that allows them to live without pain and dysfunction.
Orofacial pain can be debilitating. It can cause patients to be unable to work or to properly interact with their families. Ongoing pain can cause patients to withdraw socially, and can even have an impact on their mental health.
When there is no obvious cause for the pain, a dental status examination looks for causes that aren’t obvious or easy to spot. Once diagnosed and treated, patients can generally return to some or all of their daily lives before their accident or injury.
For more information on dental status examinations, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.