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More Dentists Are Just Saying “No” To Handing Out Prescription Pain Meds


Everyone has suffered some form of dental pain in their lives, but with the nation under high scrutiny to act on the opioid addiction crisis, more dentists and oral surgeons are no longer prescribing pain medications to combat dental pain. Perhaps you’re the parent of a teenager in 2017; and they require having their wisdom teeth extracted…you most likely don’t want to go down that prescription pain medication route to avoid any misuse from developing. Wise choice, but many dental practitioners are still frequently handing out the scripts for these highly addictive little pills to kids that are frankly not old enough to potentially spot abusing them. Do you have options as a parent to keep them pain free without all the chaos? A team at the University of Michigan’s Dentistry Division says you absolutely do have options.

The U of M dental experts released information recently showing that dental pain can be alleviated just as quickly with the proper dosage of over the counter pain relief, such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen. More studies are coming out every day further reiterating this point, but some patients feel entitled to the prescription variation after having dental surgeries, or extractions. This naturally puts dentists in a tricky position, teetering between their own moral values they wish to uphold within their practice, and possibly losing patients.

Whether you are suffering from an infection inside the gums, or just had a tooth pulled, it’s always best to try to find relief at home with over the counter options first. Usually, you’ll receive a script for antibiotics if a developing infection seems to be the culprit; in which case the pain subsides after you begin taking the antibiotics to quickly attack that infection pain brewing. Only after you’ve tried all of your other options should you consult with your dentist on the possible need for anything prescription strength needed. Experts additionally warn dental students and practitioners alike to always be very weary of patients coming in specifically asking for these medications.

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