The Control of Pain and Complications Following Dental Operations

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For too long a time, the profession and the laity have regarded the removal of a tooth as an inconsequential, simple act which scarcely merited the term “operation.” Yet nowhere in the body must an operation be performed under less ideal conditions—the field cannot be kept aseptic, the lack of accessibility and visibility are factors which tend to increase the hazards of traumatization, the skeletal tissue as well as the soft tissues must be disturbed, the pain is amplified by the generous nerve supply from the central nervous system, and finally, the course is laid open for invading organisms to gain the vital centers by approximation to important venous and arterial pathways. In spite of these hazards, the dental profession still is slow to accept the mandates which have been recognized by the other branches of surgery.

From a standpoint of interest, if one follows the history of methods and technique of major operations from an early date to modern times, one sees signs of progress accompanied by statistics which show the ever-increasing curve of success. If one studies the change in the concepts of oral surgery, one notes little actual progress in this phase of dentistry. Progress in the science of dentistry has been steady, but in the majority of cases in which oral surgery is performed, the barber chair in the dentist's office with the mechanical background still serves as the place for the disruption of the physical equilibrium. Therefore, is it any wonder that patients dread. . .



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