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Pain Management Strategies

Upstate Oral Surgery & Dental Implants is committed to making your post-operative experience as comfortable as possible. Recent studies indicate that 9 out of 10 patients report that their pain is either mild or gone after 4 days. Our strategy is based on helping you manage discomfort during this crucial period while limiting exposure to opioid pain medications.

Recent studies have demonstrated that approximately 30% of people are exposed to opioids for the first time at the dental office. While opioid medications have a place in pain management, they are not necessary for most oral surgery procedures. Studies have also shown that limiting exposure can lower the risk of addiction and opioid-related side effects. Please review our pain management strategies below, and Dr. Cutis will discuss your surgery and pain management strategy with you individually.

Multimodal Pain Management

The key to effective pain management is a multimodal approach. We recommend Tylenol® and NSAIDS for every surgery as tolerated, and depending on the difficulty of your case, we may prescribe a steroid to control swelling or an opioid/Tylenol mix. In addition to medications, we recommend strictly following post-operative protocols to allow quick healing and prevent further injury. Maintaining a suitable diet and activity level is just as important for pain control as the medication that you take.

Long-Lasting Injectables: Exparel®

Exparel is a long-lasting non-opioid injectable anesthetic. It is infiltrated into the tissues immediately following surgery and lasts for the entire critical healing period of 4–5 days. Used in combination with Tylenol and Motrin®, it eliminates or greatly reduces the need for opioid analgesics. Dr. Curtis recommends Exparel for nearly all oral surgery procedures but especially for young patients who have not been exposed to narcotics in the past.

Recommended Regimen

Dr. Curtis will review your case and develop an individualized pain management plan. In general, he will recommend Exparel with 600 mg of Motrin, and 325 mg of Tylenol every 6 hours. The combination of Exparel and the oral medications provides the best possible pain control and avoids the use of narcotic medications. When followed correctly, our patients generally report a very positive post-operative recovery.

At Upstate Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, we want our relationship with you to last a lifetime, and part of that is ensuring your recovery is as pleasant as your surgical experience. Please make sure you ask us anything that can make your experience even better!

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