Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 4760672, 7 pages
Research Article

A Focus Group on Dental Pain Complaints with General Medical Practitioners: Developing a Treatment Algorithm

1Griffith University, Parklands Drive, Southport, QLD 4215, Australia
2Department of Employment and Human Relations, Parklands Drive, Southport, QLD 4215, Australia

Received 18 March 2016; Revised 4 June 2016; Accepted 8 June 2016

Academic Editor: Paul Van Royen

Copyright © 2016 Ava Elizabeth Carter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The differential diagnosis of pain in the mouth can be challenging for general medical practitioners (GMPs) as many different dental problems can present with similar signs and symptoms. This study aimed to create a treatment algorithm for GMPs to effectively and appropriately refer the patients and prescribe antibiotics. Design. The study design is comprised of qualitative focus group discussions. Setting and Subjects. Groups of GMPs within the Gold Coast and Brisbane urban and city regions. Outcome Measures. Content thematically analysed and treatment algorithm developed. Results. There were 5 focus groups with 8-9 participants per group. Addressing whether antibiotics should be given to patients with dental pain was considered very important to GMPs to prevent overtreatment and creating antibiotic resistance. Many practitioners were unsure of what the different forms of dental pains represent. 90% of the practitioners involved agreed that the treatment algorithm was useful to daily practice. Conclusion. Common dental complaints and infections are seldom surgical emergencies but can result in prolonged appointments for those GMPs who do not regularly deal with these issues. The treatment algorithm for referral processes and prescriptions was deemed easily downloadable and simple to interpret and detailed but succinct enough for clinical use by GMPs.