More Effective Pain Relief!

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

It can be quite unnerving when going in for dental surgery. Quick and effective pain relief is definitely on patients’ minds, and the hope is that their dentist will come through and prescribe drugs that will do the trick. While there are combinations of drugs that are effective in alleviating postoperative pain, they also come with a price, usually in form of side effects. However, there is new research showing an alternative solution, one involving safer over-the-counter drugs that may be just as, if not more, effective.

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen (APAP) together can help ease the pain after surgery without any significant side effects. Researchers have been advocating patients to take over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen, APAP and naproxen after oral surgery. One of the most common combinations that patients take is APAP and an opioid, which is a prescription drug. However, the down side of this opioid-APAP combination is that patients may face potential adverse reactions linked with opioids. Most dentists and oral surgeons also frequently prescribe Vicodin, which is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen for severe postoperative pain. While this form of pain relief is effective, it poses a risk for abuse and other adverse reactions.  Dentists are now advised to move towards the over-the-counter APAP and ibuprofen combination to keep side effects at bay.

Drs. Paul A. Moore from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, and Elliot V. Hersh from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine were able to determine whether this ibuprofen-APAP combination would be the better alternative to take over combinations including opioids. They were able to use the over-the-counter combination to manage the pain patients felt after they had their wisdom teeth removed. Their results indicated that the ibuprofen-APAP combination was more effective at reducing pain and had fewer side effects than many of the combinations including opioids. They also showed that the ibuprofen-APAP combination resulted in greater pain relief than using ibuprofen or APAP alone.


Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or




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