Aim : To discuss conventional versus recently introduced treatment modalities used in pain management for orthodontic patients.
Patients experience pain and discomfort during active orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances. Pain is considered a subjective response to noxious stimuli. It can vary from person to person and is influenced by certain factors such as age, gender, previous pain experiences, stress or anxiety, and type of appliance. The objective of this literature review was to discuss conventional versus recently introduced treatment modalities used in pain management for orthodontic patients.
According to the reviewed articles, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods were introduced in orthodontic pain management. However, orthodontists must use their best professional judgment to assess each case individually. Effective orthodontist-patient communication and targeted nutritional guidance may help in preventing pain and discomfort experienced by the patients to some extent.
However, based on the available literature, analgesics remained the effective and routine methodology of pain management. Moreover, while prescribing analgesics, orthodontists must be aware of the pharmacological action as well as the pros and cons related to each drug. A maximum recommended dose should be taken into consideration for each patient.
Patients with special conditions such as psychological pain or trigeminal neuralgia often require collaboration with their specialists and advanced care management.
Nevertheless, pain management is a complex phenomenon. Therefore, further investigations combining different methods of orthodontic pain control with appropriate study designs and large sample sizes are required.