Understanding of Basic Concepts of Orofacial Pain Among Dental Students and a Cohort of General Dentists

Gelsomina L. Borromeo, Jane Trinca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain are common presenting conditions to dentists. There has been a call for improvement in teaching about these conditions in the international literature since the 1970s. Design. This study evaluates the current state of knowledge about basic pain mechanisms and management in dental students and dentists in Victoria, Australia, using a pain knowledge test adapted for dentists. Results. The results show that overall 47% of fourth year dental students and 58% of final year dental students scored correctly on the pain knowledge test compared with 48% of a convenience sample of practicing dentists on the same test. Conclusions. This pilot study indicates that levels of knowledge about pain are consistently low among dental students. There does appear to be improvement in knowledge after exposure to teaching in advanced training years in this dental school. There is some evidence that graduate dentists as a group may also have low levels of knowledge about basic pain mechanisms and evidenced-based treatment principles. This study highlights the need for improved training of dentists and dental students with regard to pain and orofacial pain. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-639
Number of pages9
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Curricula
  • Dentists
  • Education
  • Orofacial
  • Pain
  • Surveys

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