Treatment for dental pain does not have to involve the use of opioids, which is good news. According to the National Institutes of Health, every day, approximately 115 or more Americans die from opioid overdose, and currently public awareness of the U.S. opioid epidemic is growing.

Science Daily reported about a comprehensive study done at the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. The study found that Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) when used with acetaminophen or used alone provide significant and long-lasting relief for treating dental pain. This study based its finding on more than 460 published studies.

The researchers concluded that prescribing narcotics should be a last resort and not the first option dentists provide to patients. Nonsteroidal medication with or without acetaminophen provides the best result when it comes to balancing the benefits and harms.

Details of the Study for Treating Dental Pain

Giving adults 400 milligrams of ibuprofen and 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen surpassed opioids in effectiveness. The studies involved in-depth examinations of the adverse effects and benefits of the medications being used as treatments. These findings are a resource for dentists when deciding what pain medications to prescribe for dental patients.

The majority of the adverse side effects that patients experienced resulted from taking opioids alone or opioids in combination with other drugs. Adverse side effects included:

  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Constipation

These adverse effects occurred in both children and adults observed in the studies.

What Is the Opioid Crisis?

Healthcare providers began to prescribe opioids more frequently during the 1990’s after pharmaceutical companies stated that the medications were not addictive.

Opioids include prescription pain relievers as well as heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. Overdosing while using opioids has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription opioid misuse costs $78.5 billion annually due to healthcare, production loss, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement costs.

An estimated 21 out of 29 patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid disorder. In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdose and the overdose rate has continued to increase.

Do You Have Questions About Treating Dental Pain?

At Hutto Hippo Family Dental, we care about your health and are glad to discuss treatment options. We can provide you with proper treatment.

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