In this post, I link to and copy the abstract of Imaging of orofacial pain [PubMed Abstract]. J Oral Pathol Med. 2020 Jul;49(6):490-498. doi: 10.1111/jop.13063. Epub 2020 Jul 1.
All that follows is from the above resource.
Background: Orofacial pain is a common complaint, with an estimated 75% of cases caused by dental disease, specifically a diseased pulp. A small percentage of orofacial pain cases will require specialist referral most commonly to oral medicine specialists or oral and maxillofacial surgeons from a dental perspective, or otolaryngologists or neurologists from a medical perspective.
Imaging modalities: Following a thorough history and clinical examination, imaging is often required to narrow the differential diagnosis or answer a specific query related to the final diagnosis. A range of imaging modalities can be used to evaluate orofacial pain including dental panoramic tomography (DPT), intraoral radiographs, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), ultrasonography (US), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear medicine.
Imaging protocols: This paper provides a guideline outlining imaging protocols for categories of facial pain divided into: (a) unilateral odontalgia; (b) unilateral facial pain; (c) combined unilateral odontalgia and facial pain; (d) trigeminal neuralgia; (e) trigeminal neuropathic pain with or without other sensory, autonomic or motor features; (f) temporomandibular joint disorders and associated pain; (g) referred pain and (h) non-specific orofacial pain.
Conclusion: Imaging for orofacial pain should be tailored to answer a specific query related to the aetiology of the reported pain. This should result in a specific diagnosis or narrowing of the differential diagnosis as possible causes of orofacial pain are eliminated. Choosing the correct imaging modality and protocol based on the pain category is important for efficient and effective pain diagnosis and management.
Keywords: imaging; odontalgia; orofacial pain; temporomandibular disorders; trigeminal neuralgia.
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.