The Dentist and Medication
If you’re going to visit a dentist, make sure to tell them about all medications and medical conditions you have. This includes any current or previous treatments. While most drug interactions are harmless, some may be harmful. A primary care provider will know which medications should be prescribed together. You can also inform your dentist about any supplements or vitamins you are taking. It is also important to tell your dentist about any adverse reactions to any medications you’re taking.
Some over-the-counter and prescription-strength fluoride toothpastes are available on the market. There are also antiseptic mouth rinses you can purchase over-the-counter to reduce plaque and kill germs that cause bad breath. Other prescription medicines you can ask your dentist for include benzodiazepines, which are often prescribed for anxiety disorders. Benzodiazepines can also help relax you during a dental procedure.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, your dentist might prescribe narcotic analgesics. These medicines are acetaminophen-based formulations that contain codeine. These medications generally increase the efficacy of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, but they may cause xerostomia (dry mouth). Ibuprofen can also increase oral plaque and dental caries. Finally, topical anesthetics are usually available in the form of sprays and ointments. They numb the area before injectable local anesthetics are applied.
A recent study found that people who had opioid prescriptions from a dentist had a higher risk of overdose after undergoing a dental procedure. The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers from the University of Michigan examined the medical records of 8.5 million dental patients. They found that patients filled opioid prescriptions after undergoing a dental procedure in almost a quarter of the cases.
To ensure that they do not endanger patients, dentists should check with the OARRS to make sure they’re complying with the law. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently reclassified hydrocodone combination products as a Schedule II substance, which carries stricter restrictions. The law also requires dentists to register with the DEA before they can dispense them. This is a significant change for patients who need pain relief, but there’s no reason to panic.
A dentist can also prescribe some non-opioid medications for dental pain. Some of these medications can be as effective as prescription opioids. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as acetaminophen, can be very effective for addressing dental pain. When choosing a medication, be sure to ask about possible side effects and how long you’ll need to take it.
NSAIDs are also a common choice for patients who need pain relief after a dental procedure. These medications help control inflammation and prevent bacteria from spreading into the bloodstream. These medicines are usually prescribed for the first two or three days after a dental procedure. Once the anesthetic wears off, it’s best to transition to other methods of pain relief.
A dentist can also prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection affecting your teeth or gums. These drugs treat the bacterial infection that causes the pus. Antibiotics are not a panacea for a tooth infection, and shouldn’t be taken if you don’t have a proper diagnosis. However, if the abscess has spread and is affecting your overall health, the dentist might prescribe antibiotics to prevent any further infection.