Most everyone has heard about the opioid crisis in our country, so this post will be short and sweet. It has become increasingly difficult for dentists to prescribe any opiate drugs to our patients for pain relief. The good news is that the majority of the pain we deal with in dentistry is acute in nature and largely due to inflammation. It has been repeatedly shown in scientific studies that ibuprofen and acetaminophen, especially in combination, are equally as or even more effective than opioids in treating this type of pain. The key is to stay ahead of the pain, dosing on a regular schedule day and night so that the pain does not ramp up and become hard to get under control.
Really the only chronic pain we deal with in dentistry is due to TMJ discomfort and headaches. I have good news here as well-we have a very effective therapeutic protocol to treat these disorders in our office drug-free. For more information go to the Headaches and TMJ tab.