Conservative Post-Surgical Pain Management Approach

sharon-mccutcheon-FEPfs43yiPE-unsplashDid you know that in as few as five days of use, a person can develop an addiction to an opioid painkiller such as hydrocodone and oxycodone?  

At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we take the prescription of opioid painkillers very seriously and are committed to the prevention of opioid misuse and abuse following oral surgery. Patients are informed about the alternatives to prescription painkillers and are encouraged to use a combination of over-the-counter ibuprofen and acetaminophen which can be just as effective at reducing short-term pain as prescription medications. For more information, please see the statement below:

At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we share the healthcare community’s concern about the potential abuse of opioid pain medications following surgery. Our approach to post-surgical pain management is conservative. Patients are encouraged to manage pain with over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen as the first line of defense. Some patients may require prescription pain medications due to the nature of their surgical procedure and they will receive a clinically appropriate, yet limited, prescription for an opioid.

We also offer Exparel®, a long-term local anesthetic which is injected at the surgical site intra-operatively. The numbing effects of Exparel® may last for up to 72 hours and can reduce or eliminate the need for opioids. Although it is not covered by most dental insurance plans, Exparel® is a good alternative to traditional pain management.

Prior to any surgical procedure, discuss post-op pain management with your oral surgeon to determine what is appropriate for you or your loved one. Be aware of the risks and benefits associated with opioid use and understand the safer alternatives.