It’s been said that the first experience people used to have with prescription pain relievers (such as opioids) was when they had their wisdom teeth removed. Although prescribed safely, there is always a risk for leftover medication becoming accessible to someone other than the patient. Or for an individual who may be predisposed to addiction to becoming reliant on a narcotic.
Fortunately, modern advancements in medication and pharmacological studies have made it so that prescription narcotics are used far less often than in decades past. And dentists have been at the forefront of this shift.
One such example is the use of Exparel. This medication is one that’s been used for surgeries like Caesarian sections and is now making headway in oral surgery. It’s a local anesthetic (numbing) medication that lasts longer than traditional drugs used during procedures like wisdom tooth removal. When it’s used during an oral surgery, it can be up to 2-3 days after the procedure once the numbing effects slowly start to wear off.
Since the majority of discomfort from any surgery is due to the post-operative inflammation (swelling) at the surgical site, the first day or two tend to be the ones where patients require better pain management. If you’re using longer lasting anesthetics like Exparel, there’s really no need for a prescription pain medication during those first couple of days. Any residual irritation that’s noticeable once the numbing drugs wear off can easily be managed with an over-the-counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen.
At Torrance Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, your comfort comes first. Ask us about new advancements in narcotic-free pain relief!