Pain Medication

Some dental treatments require taking pain medication, sometimes for an extended period of time. This is of course a good thing, as the pain can become quite unbearable, and may take a few days until it subsides. But there are negative aspects to being subjected to pain medication as well, like addiction, issues with tolerance and interactions with other medications that you may have to take, just to name a few issues that can cause problems. Let’s look at when pain medication can be prescribed, and how long you should take the medicine to avoid issues of tolerance:

Root Canal Treatments

Time: 72 hours- 1 week. 

Description: With a root canal treatment, you should take pain medication until the swelling subsides, or until the area is still sore. This is usually around 72 hours, but can last up to a week. If the swelling has not gone down in one week, go and see your dentist for information, as the cleaning out of the canal may be necessary.


Time: 24 hrs- 1 month

Description: When a trauma occurs, how long you will have to take to heal will be dependant on where the trauma occurred and what sort of organs were affected, is it only the teeth or did the underlying structures get damaged as well? Is the nerve damaged? Is surgery necessary? Did teeth become knocked out fully or partially? Is the alveolus damaged? Depending on how many of these are answered with ‘yes’ the longer it will take to heal, which means the longer you will have to deal with pain. 


Time: 24-72 hrs

Description: After an extraction, the area will be sensitive, and it can even be sore or even downright painful. This pain should subside relatively soon though,a s the blood clot will cover the wound and start the healing process relatively soon. If after 72 hours you are still swollen or painful or sore, the painkillers will probably not help, and you will need to go to your dentist as soon as possible. 

How Do I Know That I Have A Problem?

If your pain is gone but you feel sensitive, you definitely have a problem, as your body may want more of the substance and may manipulate sensory information. if you feel compelled to take it, or if you made  a decision to not take pain medication but “ended up” taking it anyway, then you definitely have a problem. If after your prescription has run out and yíou find yourself thinking about pain medication, or have trouble sleeping or are anxious and more energetic than usual, then you have a problem. Contact your dentist or if you have a psychologist, perhaps them as well.  

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