Trigeminal neuralgia: Caring for patients with trigeminal neuralgia

This course will allow the dental hygienist to be able to detect possible signs and symptoms associated with trigeminal neuralgia providing the patient with the best possible outcomes.

3 CE Credits

A peer-reviewed course written by Stacey McKinnney, MSEd, RDH; Kelli D. Whittington, PHD, RN, CNE; and Sandra Collins, PhD, MBA


To provide the patient with the best possible outcomes, it is crucial that the dental hygienist be able to detect possible signs and symptoms associated with trigeminal neuralgia. Understanding the pathophysiology behind trigeminal neuralgia, as well as identifying associated risk factors and incidence, assists the dental hygienist with this detection. To optimize care of the patient, the dental hygienist must also be able to instruct the patient on best practices to promote oral health as well as attending follow-up care with their primary health-care provider. For individuals who do not have a relationship with a primary health-care provider, the dental hygienist should be able to provide necessary referral information.

Educational objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the dental practitioner will be able to:

  • Identify pathology associated with trigeminal neuralgia
  • Define the differences between the three categories of trigeminal neuralgia
  • Discuss assessment tools used to diagnose the condition
  • Provide treatment options, referrals, and other resources
  • Assess mental health stressors associated with trigeminal neuralgia

Stacey McKinney, RDH, MSEd, is an assistant professor and senior clinic coordinator in the dental hygiene program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her teaching responsibilities focus on preventive oral care, teaching methodologies, and advanced periodontics. She has more than 10 years of clinical dental hygiene experience in community-based and general practice.

Kelli D. Whittington, PhD, RN, CNE, is an assistant professor and program director for the nursing programs at Southern Illinois University. She instills within her nursing students the value of patients holistically. Her nearly three decades of functioning as a nurse within the health-care arena and academic setting allow her to bring real-world experiences, such as those depicted in the case study presented in this course, to the classroom.

Sandra Collins, MBA, PhD, is a professor and the program director in the Health Care Management Bachelor of Science program and the Master’s of Health Administration/Master’s of Health Informatics programs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has authored multiple publications and presentations on management and clinical topics related to the field of health care.

 Photo credit: © Pornpak Khunatorn | 
Quick Access Code: 21088

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 8 Lessons
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: September 2021

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-21088. Expires August 2024. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 200


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code:


    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at



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