Can I take painkillers before a tooth extraction?
Q. Can I take painkillers before a tooth extraction?
A. Yes, in many cases, we do recommend that our patients take an anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen about 60 minutes before their tooth extraction.
Ibuprofen is a drug in the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) class that is used for treating pain, fever, and inflammation. Ibuprofen is the generic name for the medication but it can also be purchased under the common brand names of Advil and Motrin.
When you have a tooth extracted, your body produces certain chemicals that are responsible for the production of pain and inflammation at the site of the extraction. These chemical reactions stimulate the body’s pain receptors to tell the brain that tissue damage has occurred. NSAID drugs like Ibuprofen work by blocking the effects of these chemicals and therefore reducing pain.
Taking painkillers before operative dentistry is a proven preventative strategy that can delay the onset and decrease the intensity of pain.
While it is normal for patients to experience mild to moderate pain after a tooth extraction, there is no need to experience unnecessary discomfort if it can be avoided. By taking a painkiller before the tooth extraction you are getting the analgesic into your system to help fend off pain before the local anesthetic wears off.
To effectively manage pain after your tooth extraction it is best if you can put yourself on a regimented schedule of pain relievers so that you can manage the pain effectively while your body recovers.
Note – If you have had a tooth extracted and are experiencing severe or prolonged pain, or pain that is not responding to medication, you should contact your dentist so they can investigate the cause and provide the appropriate treatment.
Q. What painkillers are best for a tooth extraction?
A. Ibuprofen is usually the preferred choice for managing mild to moderate tooth extraction pain. However, studies have shown that a combination of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) is more effective at preventing pain than Ibuprofen alone.
Note – Most people have no trouble taking these tablets. However, some people develop side effects which can sometimes be serious. All medications should be taken with caution at the lowest acceptable dosage and duration.
Q. Can I buy painkillers?
A.Yes, Ibuprofen, and acetaminophen-based painkillers are available to buy over-the-counter at any pharmacy.
Ibuprofen is available in doses of 200–400 mg over-the-counter and at a prescription strength of 800 mg under the advice of your dentist.
Acetaminophen is available under the common brand name Tylenol at strengths of 325 mg, 500 mg, and 625 mg.
Dr. Lara Coseo
Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, Dr. Lara currently serves as an Associate Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.
What do before getting a tooth extracted.