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Surprise (602) 842-4864
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Is It Normal to Get Narcotics After Dental Surgery?


Posted on 3/20/2020 by Candice
Is It Normal to Get Narcotics After Dental Surgery?Following oral surgery, whether for extraction, prosthodontics, or maxillofacial surgery, you will experience a certain level of pain near the site, and possibly into your jawbone. Since no one experiences pain like anyone else, as well as it being hard to quantify pain, treatment for pain following dental surgery will vary slightly with every patient.

Unfortunately, there was a time beginning in the 1970s until recent decades when the standard for treating pain after oral surgery were opioid-based medications like Tylenol with codeine or Vicodin. Due to the introduction of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), however, oral surgeons are now able to provide safer alternatives to opiate-based medications.

Risks of Prescribing Opioid-Based Medication


No one plans on becoming dependent on opiates, and that ironically makes it even more important to use discretion when prescribing them after dental surgery. Unsuspecting users are at a higher risk, as well as those with past addiction issues with opiates or other drugs. Opiate use carries a high risk of addiction and overdose, and is unnecessary when treatment with over-the-counter (OTC) medications will do the trick.

Treatment of Postoperative Dental Pain Today


Especially fortunate for those who may be at a higher risk of addiction, studies have shown that a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen are even more effective at treating postoperative dental pain than opioid-based pain medications. Therefore, endodontists can forego prescriptions for stronger, more risky medications for safer, cost-effective alternatives.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?


There are rare instances when prescribed opiates may be the only solution for a particular patient's needs. For instance, an estimated 20 percent of patients either cannot take ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or their level of pain sensitivity requires more intense postoperative relief.

If you will be getting dental surgery in the near future, ensure that your endodontist is open to safer alternatives to risky prescription medications for postoperative dental pain. For more information about the dental surgery procedures offered by our office, contact us for a consultation and exam.
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Surprise Smiles
15128 W Bell Rd, Suite 12
Surprise, AZ 85374
(602) 842-4864

Prescott Valley
7136 East Pav Way
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
(928) 277-0076

Chino Valley
1260 Hwy. 89, Ste. G
Chino Valley, AZ 86323
(928) 589-1776

Prescott
172 E Merritt St.
Suite F
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 443-1200


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