Managing Pain Safely After Oral Surgery

20 January 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

If you're putting off having a dental surgical procedure because you're afraid of the pain, rest easy that it's a fairly common anxiety to have. In addition, many patients worry about not wanting to become addicted to painkillers following their procedures. If these two concerns have you feeling afraid about your surgery, rest easy, and follow these tips to manage your pain safely after your procedure.

Topical Numbing Agents

Before you have your surgery, talk to your dentist about whether the surgical site will be accessible during your recovery. Using a topical pain killer like a oral numbing agent can help to desensitize the area, reducing the inherent pain you're in without taking any oral drugs. This can potentially help you to actually cut down on the amount of prescribed pain killers you take. 


Another option is to ask your surgeon to use an ample amount of procaine during the procedure. If you're put under general anesthesia, some surgeons will refrain from using procaine, since you won't feel anything during the procedure. However, procaine can potentially last for hours after the procedure. For the first day you're home, you may not need pain killers at all if your procaine is still in effect.

Over-the-Counter Pain Killers

Ask your surgeon whether or not you can take over the counter pain killers like ibuprofen and aspirin with your prescribed pain killers. Some medications interact, while others don't, so your surgeon will know what's best. However, if there are any over-the-counter medications you can take, they can help a lot.

Taking an over-the-counter medication to reduce your pain means you'll need less of any prescribed medications that are more dangerous for you. Reducing your dose will mean you have a lower risk of addiction, so this is a great step to follow if you can.


Acupuncture may be a good way to help reduce pain following oral surgery. Acupuncturists believe that they can divert energy to the area that's hurting, speeding up the healing process and providing comfort. 

Studies have been mixed, with some finding that acupuncture significantly reduced post-operative pain levels, while others have found that a placebo had the same effect. However, whether it was the power of the mind or not, the test subjects felt relief, so you should give it a try.

It's difficult to be afraid of pain but also afraid of taking too many of the medications that can help to ease it. With these steps, you can significantly reduce any discomfort you're in following you procedure, and nearly eliminate the risk of addiction. For more information, talk to a dentist like Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics.