Chronic Pain Management for the Dental Practitioner: A Psychosocial Perspective


About the Course:
This intermediate-level course is intended to address this training deficit by providing dental healthcare professionals with an overview of the nature and scope of chronic pain, as well as basic skills for effective assessment and adjunctive treatments of chronic orofacial pain conditions and related problems. To accomplish these goals, the course first examines the basic physiological principles that underlie pain, describes the distinction between acute and chronic pain, and explains the factors that contribute to acute pain becoming chronic. The prevalence and impact of chronic pain on physical functioning, health, and quality of life are examined. An introduction to the practical assessment of chronic pain provides readers with a description of selected assessment tools and interview procedures. Dental practitioners may be familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of pain in a specific context, for example, temporomandibular disorders. However, the emphasis of this course lies in assessing other causes of chronic orofacial pain and in discussing their corresponding pharmacological and biobehavioral treatment modalities. The course provides an overview of common medications used to treat chronic orofacial pain and discusses issues surrounding addiction and adherence to a prescribed medication regimen. The course also provides basic information on empirically supported psychosocial treatment strategies that can be useful when working with patients who are experiencing chronic pain. This course is designed for dental health professionals who wish to further their knowledge in orofacial pain conditions. After taking the course, the participant will be able to assess the patient with chronic orofacial pain, identify comorbid disorders, and recommend appropriate treatment or referral options.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the basic elements of pain and pain perception.
  • Discuss the prevalence of pain and its impact on individuals and society.
  • Describe standard assessment techniques for measuring pain, including self-report instruments.
  • Identify proper techniques for the clinical assessment of pain.
  • Describe treatments for chronic pain, including pharmacological treatment, complementary and alternative medicine approaches, and psychosocial treatments.
  • Identify barriers to effective pain care.

About the Author:
Reny de Leeuw, DDS, PhD, MPH, is professor and division chief of the Orofacial Pain Clinic in the Department of Oral Health Science of the University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry. She received her dental degree from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands in 1988 and a PhD in general medicine from the same university in 1994 for her work on temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis and internal derangement. This work resulted in six publications on the topic and several other collaborative papers. Dr. de Leeuw then went on to receive formal clinical training at the University of Kentucky in a 3-year orofacial pain program. After completing this program, she was appointed to the faculty of the Orofacial Pain Clinic. She is past president and past council member of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Orofacial Pain and serves on its Board of Directors. She has published more than 40 papers in the field of orofacial pain. Dr. de Leeuw is the 4th edition editor and 5th edition co-editor of Orofacial Pain: Guidelines for Assessment, Diagnosis, and Management. 

How to Receive Credit

  • Read the entire course online or in print.
  • Depending on your state requirements you will be asked to:
  • Complete a mandatory test (a passing score of 75 percent is required). Test questions link content to learning objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory Course Evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.
  • Resolution of Conflict of Interest
  • Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

AGD Subject Code - 340

Resolution of Conflict of Interest
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement.
It is the policy of Colibri not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.
©2020: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.