The Role of Analgesics During Dental Procedures

Dental pain (dentalgia or toothache) is quite a widespread subjective complaint of dentists after the various dental procedures and dental diseases. Dentists call it toothache and most of them also provide an analgesic treatment to their patients. Pain management techniques based on current understanding of pain and anxiety reduction are now widely used by dentists in dental practices. Pain relief can be achieved through the application of local anesthetics during dental procedures.

An analgesic reduces pain without the usage of narcotics and sedatives. Dental analgesics are classified as anti-inflammatories, analgesic, and narcotics. The general mechanism of analgesics is inhibition of biological activity by decreasing membrane permeability, increasing neuroendorphin production, and increasing endocannabinoid synaptic activity in synapses. These properties have resulted in the development of numerous analgesic agents in the form of topical anesthetics and intravenous narcotic analgesics. Oral hydrocortisone can also be prescribed for severe and chronic dental pain in very low doses.

Analgesics are used mainly for dental procedures such as dental implants, dental braces, dental root canal treatment, dental root canals, dental veneers, dental caries, dental extractions, dental surgery, and dental phobias. Steroids and opiods also serve as analgesics but their effectiveness is relative to the drug dose and duration of administration. When administered with anesthesia, analgesics minimize pain but increase the need for sedation as well. Opiods are generally injected at the site of pain and therefore require higher doses than topical analgesics.

Before administering any kind of an analgesic, the dentist must determine the intensity and duration of pain. The dentist can use a variety of techniques to assess the pain level of the patient. One technique is called the localesthetic rating. The localesthetic level is indicated on a scale from zero to four. The higher the number, the lesser the pain felt by the patient.

Pain control methods also include sedation with a method called neurostimulation. This is where the dentist stimulates nerves by using a localized electric current. Deep sedation may also be used where the dentist will apply a drug directly into a patient’s nerve mass. In this instance, the dentist will also take care of removing any foreign substance that may cause a problem during the dental procedure.

If you are a patient who has just undergone a dental procedure where you received an anesthetic, it is very important for you to contact your dentist right away so the dentist can prepare for the administration of the analgesic. It is also advisable for you to discuss the pain with your dentist before the actual administration takes place. If you receive the wrong type of analgesic then you may experience some side effects such as pain when taking food, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, sweating, vomiting and so on. You may also feel anxious if you are administered the wrong type of analgesic. An analgesic should be given according to the instructions given by your dentist.