A lot of patients may have noticed lately in the news a lot of talk about pain prescriptions and addiction to pain medication. That’s a very serious topic and the dental community takes it very seriously as well because we do prescribe narcotics and opioids.
Very rarely is it necessary, but we take it on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve had a procedure that was particularly rough, perhaps you had a third molar taken out or a wisdom tooth extraction, and it’s anticipated that you will be in a good amount of pain afterwards, we will prescribe a narcotic medication or prescription pain medication.
For the vast majority of procedures we do–even when we take out teeth–Ibuprofen, Motrin, Tylenol, or whatever you normally takes works perfectly well.
Sometimes, you must accept that you will be sore after a major procedure. You may have to miss a day of work or a day of school, but the discomfort will go away in another day. In the meantime, just take it easy, lie on the couch, watch some Netflix, whatever it is you do to relax, and you’ll be okay with the help of some over-the-counter pain medication.
Now, if a day or two goes by and you’re still in a good amount of pain—so much that you can’t go about your daily functions–feel free to call us. We’ll bring you in and reassess you, and if we think you need something stronger than over-the-counter medication, we will prescribe it.
As far as managing or minimizing pain during dental procedures, there are several things to keep in mind.
Perhaps you have high blood pressure so we may give you a different type of medication versus someone who doesn’t. We try our very best to make sure that our patients are comfortable during the procedure. It makes it an easier procedure for you, but also it makes it an easier procedure for us as well if you’re comfortable.
Now, some patients want to be completely sedated during a dental procedure. If that’s what you want, we can tell you where to go to get the procedure done under general anesthesia.
We do local anesthesia here with just the area that we’re working on. If you want general anesthesia, usually it’s not too hard for us to find somewhere not too far away where you can get that done. Our main goal is to make sure that you’re comfortable while you’re being worked on.