Pain Management in Infants, Children, Adolescents and Individuals with Special Health Care Needs

Purpose

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that infants, children, adolescents, and individuals with special health care needs can and do experience pain due to dental/orofacial injury, infection, and dental procedures, and that inadequate pain management may have significant physical and psychological consequences for the patient. Appreciation of pediatric pain can help practitioners develop clinical approaches to prevent or substantially relieve dental pain. When pharmacological intervention is necessary to manage pain, the practitioner must understand the consequences, morbidities, and toxicities associated with the use of specific therapeutic agents. These recommendations are intended to provide dental professionals and other stakeholders with current best practices for pain management in pediatric dentistry.