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Management of Pediatric Urgent Dental Pain

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posted on 18.06.2020, 00:59 by Amanda H Frankel
Acute pain caused by a dental etiology is a common reason why over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication is used. The study examined how children’s dental pain is being managed at home by parents/caregivers prior to their children seeking urgent care at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), College of Dentistry (COD), Post-Graduate Pediatric Dentistry Clinic. Legal guardians of patients (age 0-17) who presented to the clinic were asked to participate in this research. Consenting caregivers were asked to complete a survey with demographic information and pain management questions. A dental resident recorded pain scores using the Wong-Baker Faces pain scale1. In addition, the dental resident completed a clinical and/or radiographic examination to determine the etiology of the dental pain. Statistical analysis was completed using SPSS. Pain medication was given to 39% of patients. Twenty-nine of the 38 children who were given medication had errors or incomplete information in the reported dosing by the caregiver. Analysis showed only an association between caregiver’s race and whether the dosage of the medication was known (P = .044) as well as between caregiver’s race and if there were errors or incomplete information in the reported dosing (P = .044). There were no other associations between demographic information and pain medication knowledge. There was also no association between duration of pain and whether pain medication was given. However, there was a significant association between the Wong-Baker Faces pain scale recorded and medication use.
Overall, it is hard to predict which parents have adequate knowledge on how to manage their child’s dental pain. Our findings suggest a large percentage of our population experience pain and provide some form of pain management, receive information from various sources, and often have gaps in pain management knowledge. It is imperative that healthcare providers educate parents on appropriate and accurate pain management skills and that prevention efforts aim to prevent the need for pain management as tertiary care.


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