The following abstracts from the US National Library of Medicine may cast a bit of light on the reasoning behind pulsed RF ablation. Please note that the first is a limited case report, not a trial.
Pain Physician. 2015 May-Jun;18(3):E433-5.
Management of refractory trigeminal neuralgia using extended duration pulsed radiofrequency application.
Thapa D, Ahuja V1, Dass C, Verma P.
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) produces incapacitating facial pain that reduces quality of life in patients. Thermal radiofrequency (RF) ablation of gasserian ganglion (GG) is associated with masseter weakness and unpleasant sensations along the distribution of the ablated nerve. Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) of GG has minimal side effects but literature is inconclusive regarding its benefit in refractory TN. Increasing the duration of PRF application to 6 minutes in TN produced encouraging results. PRF application to the saphenous nerve for 8 minutes reported improved pain relief and patient satisfaction. We report successful management of two patients of classic TN, which were refractory to medical management and interventional nerve blocks. The lesion site were confirmed with motor and sensory stimulation through a 22 G, 10 cm RF needle with 5 mm active tip. Both the patients received four cycles of PRF at 42 °C with each cycle of 120 seconds (8 minutes). The visual analogue scale (VAS) in case 1 reduced from pre-block score of 80 to score 10 post-block, while in case 2 the VAS reduced from pre-block score of 85 to score 15 post-block. During follow up both the patients are now pain free with minimal dose of carbamazepine at 12 and 6 months respectively. We used PRF for longer duration (8 minutes) in these patients, which resulted in improved VAS and WHOQOL-BREF score in these patients. PRF of mandibular division of GG for extended duration provided long-term effective pain relief and quality of life in patients of refractory classic TN.
And the following abstract appears to be stronger evidence and more directly related to your dental injury situation. the bottom line seems to be that in this limited trial, Pulsed RF ablation was somewhat less effective and involved more side effects after the procedure, than conventional RF ablation.
Pain Med. 2013 Mar;14(3):430-5. doi: 10.1111/pme.12046. Epub 2013 Feb 22.
Pulsed and conventional radiofrequency treatment: which is effective for dental procedure-related symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia?
Kim JH1, Yu HY, Park SY, Lee SC, Kim YC.
Many patients develop dental treatment-related symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia. However, the effectiveness of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) treatment and conventional radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFTC) for treatment of this disorder has not been determined. This retrospective study was conducted to compare the effectiveness and complications of PRF and RFTC in these patients.
Fifty-four patients who experienced the onset of symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia after a dental treatment were managed by PRF or RFTC. Data were collected by reviewing their medical records and conducting a questionnaire. Patients' characteristics, the dental procedures that caused the trigeminal neuralgia, the baseline and posttreatment pain intensities, duration of pain relief, complications, and satisfactions to the treatment were evaluated.
Pain intensities were lower at 1 week (3.0/10 vs 6.4/10), at 1 month (2.5/10 vs 5.9/10), 3 months (2.6/10 vs 5.5/10), 6 months (3.1/10 vs 7.1/10) and 1 year (4.8/10 vs 7.2/10) in the RFTC group (28 patients) than in the PRF group (26 patients) (P < 0.05). The duration of pain relief without medication in the RFTC group (10.8 months) was longer than that in the PRF group (0 months). The incidence of complications in the RFTC group (46.4%) was higher than that in the PRF group (3.8%) (P < 0.05). The RFTC group reported higher satisfaction ratings (3.86/5) than the PRF group (2.19/5) (P < 0.05).
Although the RFTC group had more complications than the PRF group, most were minor and transient, and the patient satisfaction rate with RFTC was very high. Therefore, RFTC is an effective tool for the treatment of dental procedure-induced trigeminal neuralgia.
In both procedures, there are risks. That is true generally of all rhizotomy procedures in patients with ATN pain. But medical reality is that these procedures do offer some ATN patients significant relief for periods exceeding a year -- and in some patients exceeding three years.