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Alternative Methods Make Dentistry & Recovery Pain Free

Over the past two decades, narcotic and opioid pain medications have been overwhelmingly common for the treatment of postsurgical pain in dentistry and oral surgery. But the evidence that has been presented over the past several years has shown patients are suffering a number of problems with the use of narcotics. Pharmacists, physicians and dentists are all in agreement that pain management has to restrict or eliminate the use of narcotics.

Over the past 5 years, we have been moving away from the prescription of narcotic and opioid pain medications, both in the number of prescribed doses and the number of pills we prescribe. We have found other ways to help minimize postsurgical pain.

One is the use of non-steroidal pain medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. We have found that when patients can use these drugs, prescribing them together in a specific way has a synergistic, or profoundly increased, effect to provide relief for patients.

We have also done a number of case studies in our practice using laser therapy to prevent the onset of moderate to severe postsurgical pain. This therapy has worked well for patients who have had wisdom tooth removal and root canal treatments. We find that patients use fewer medications and fewer doses of those medications when having laser treatment after surgery. There are no medical contraindications or adverse drug interactions for the use of lasers to reduce postoperative pain.

We have a number of other ways to make dentistry and the recovery period pain free. From the use of drill-free and shot free procedures, to the use of other non-narcotic medications, we have a pretty big toolbox for pain control.

Chris Rafoth is the owner of Lyons Creek Dental Care, providing medical dentistry, dental implants, and facial esthetics since 1998 for Shoreline and greater Seattle areas, as well as communities in King and Snohomish counties. Any questions or comments? Contact him at today!


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Opioid Alternatives Urged PostoperativelyMedscape. Sep 20, 2013.