Policy on Pediatric Dental Pain Management
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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that children vary greatly in their cognitive and emotional development, medical conditions, and responses to pain and interventions. This policy is not intended to provide clinical recommendations, which can be found in AAPD’s best practice on pain management1; rather, the purpose of this document is to support efforts to prevent or alleviate pediatric pain and complications from pain medications. Infants, children, adolescents, and those with special health care needs can and do experience pain; dental-related pain in most patients can be prevented or substantially relieved. The AAPD further recognizes many therapeutics are available to treat pain with varying regimens. Recent concerns have developed about toxicities associated with codeine and the adverse effects of opioid analgesics.