strong pain relief alternative to opiates

Alternative Pain Relief For Your Next Dental Surgery


After dental surgery, intense pain is a common issue, one that may make your recovery hard. However, you’re very nervous about the use of opiate medications and want to find a choice. Thankfully, there are many options for a strong pain relief alternative to opiates to help you.

Understanding your options here will improve your medical care and ensure you don’t needlessly suffer from pain. It also helps to ensure that your dentist is happy with your treatment. Make sure you read through this list of options for a strong pain relief alternative to opiates to find one that works for your needs.

Temperature-Based Therapy

The most common first strong pain relief alternative to opiates after dental surgery is temperature therapy. This method focuses on using alternating hot and cold applications to decrease your swelling, cut back on your pain, and make your recovery much easier to handle.

For many people, this option may be all that they need to combat the frustrating pain caused by crosses like crown dental care. Other people may need more powerful options after anesthesia, however. So try out these steps first and then progress to others on this list to see which works the best for your needs:

  • Place a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and fill the bag with cold water
  • Alternatively, purchase a cold compress and place it in your freezer before surgery
  • Place the cold item on your jaw for half an hour to reduce swelling
  • Warm up water in a pot on a stove – the water should be hot but not boiling
  • Put a washrag in the water, soak up a good amount of water, and ring out the rag
  • Place the warm rag on your mouth for 30 minutes before removing

Take a rest after you perform this process a few times to see how your mouth responds. Your swelling should start to go down thanks to the ice, and the warm water should increase your blood flow and help manage your pain. Repeat this process, as needed, after your surgery to help even more.

If you still feel pain, you need to consider another strong pain relief alternative to opiates. Thankfully, there are many mild options that you can utilize to help manage your pain and avoid severe suffering. And many of these options can be purchased over the counter at many drug stores.

NSAID Medications

When dental pain lingers after your temperature therapy, and you need a substantial pain relief alternative to opiates, try NSAID medications. These options can be purchased without a prescription and help to manage inflammation, cutting back on the pain triggered by your dental surgery.

This type of therapy is used in many pain-management plans, including arthritis treatment and much more. In addition, some cases have found that many of these options work better than opioids, thanks to their more focus on preventing inflammation. Just a few options that you can consider here include:

  • Ibuprofen – Medicines like Advil and Motrin contain this ingredient, a potent NSAID. When taken throughout your recovery period, you’re likely to get a lot of relief from this painful problem. Always stick to the doses suggested by your doctor, though, as you can overdose on this substance.
  • Acetaminophen – This over-the-counter medicine is available in products like Tylenol and provides many types of pain relief benefits. Often, it works well for those who do not react well to ibuprofen or who may be allergic to it. In addition, it works slightly differently than ibuprofen, meaning it’s a good alternative.
  • Combining These Medications – When ibuprofen and acetaminophen provide some benefits for you but don’t entirely manage your pain, your dentist may suggest integrating them into one treatment. This approach is one you should only take if it is recommended directly to you by your dentist.

In cases when your pain is too severe for over-the-counter medications, your doctor may prescribe options with a higher concentration of drugs. This choice is a good one if you’re struggling to handle your pain and prefer these medications as a way of decreasing your pain and suffering.

However, there are many other choices for a strong pain relief alternative to opiates that may be appropriate for your needs. For example, many people getting invisible aligners or different types of treatments and surgery may find that the options below work much better for their needs.


A growing number of dentists are using Exparel injections as a potent pain relief alternative to opiates. This option has become so popular because it can be provided at the time of your surgery in a quick and relatively pain-free injection directly into the jaw. In addition, it goes into effect very quickly after application.

And once it is in effect, its pain-relief benefits last as long as 72 hours, providing a long-term level of pain management that is often perfect for most people. Typically, this option is chosen for wisdom tooth extractions, removing other teeth, serious gum-disease treatments, and much more.

That said, it may also be used for general dental procedures that may cause you some pain, such as standard dental cleanings, cavity treatments, and much more. Usually, your dentist will turn to more standard or less intense pain management methods first in these types of cases.

Before getting this type of pain relief, you should probably talk to your doctor and get tested for potential allergic reactions. This risk is high when taking relatively new medications, though allergies to Exparel remain rare. But it is better to be safe than sorry, as an allergic reaction will make your surgery impossible.

When choosing this strong pain relief alternative to opiates, something else to consider is the fact that insurance companies may not fully cover it in some cases. Aetna is the first company to offer coverage for this treatment, meaning that you may need to be careful when deciding to use it.

You may also want to talk to personal injury lawyers about your treatment if you find yourself still suffering from pain long after your surgery. Your surgeon may have done something wrong to cause severe and lingering long-term pain. That said, other care methods may still be useful.

Medical Marijuana

Over the years, many states have legalized medical and even recreational marijuana. This substance produces a powerful reaction when appropriately used, including intense feelings of relaxation, and has been shown to have many medical benefits. And some may find it makes a substantial pain relief alternative to opiates after dental surgery.

For example, medical marijuana has been shown to decrease pain in many people and help relax their minds after surgery. Even better, it can help with anxiety and depression, a common issue that many may feel after going through an extensive and perhaps challenging dental surgery.

Dentists often use medical imaging centers and other diagnostic tools to ensure their patients react correctly when choosing this option. And they also take into account the two oils within cannabis that help to provide relief and work to select a strain that meets a person’s care needs appropriately.

  • THC – This substance produces the potent “high” created by marijuana, decreasing anxiety, relieving stress, and soothe some suffering. The THC potency in medical marijuana is relatively low, though, as it primarily focuses on combining this substance and another known as CBD.
  • CBD – CBD produces many calming and relaxing reactions triggered by medical marijuana but does not produce the high. Instead, it soothes anxiety and stress and makes it easier for people to feel calm after surgery. And it also helps manage some inflammation problems, as well.
  • Finding a Balance – Some people may need a stronger THC balance to manage their pain, while others may want one with more CBD to avoid severe “highs.” Their dental care expert will work with their general health practitioner to find the balance that works the best for their needs.

However, those interested in getting medical weed cards need to understand that this option does have some risks. For example, smoking is not a healthy activity, even when it isn’t tobacco. As a result, many people use medical marijuana in an edible form or a gel applied to the skin.

Other risks include a decrease in mental activity caused by THC. This may cause a pleasant “high” for some people but makes operating heavy machinery or driving an extreme risk. It is best to stay at home after using this option for medical care and stay comfortable in a safe place.

And some people may experience a feeling of paranoia or fear that may be hard to manage. This concern varies depending on a person’s reaction to marijuana. The strains used by doctors are chosen to minimize this risk, but some individuals may still react in this way unexpectedly.

As a result, it is vital for those considering this option to weigh the pros and cons before deciding. While this remains a substantial pain relief alternative to opiates that works well for most people, others may not be suitable for this option and need a different choice.

Other Supplemental Options to Consider

If the choices mentioned above for a strong pain relief alternative to opiates don’t work for you or just need a little extra help, the following supplemental options may be a good choice. These unique care methods include concepts and therapy methods as diverse as the following methods:

  • Chiropractic Care – This method may have some pain-relief benefits for dental care when properly utilized but is usually best for body pain. Some manipulations may help decrease inflammation throughout the body but isn’t always beneficial for dental pain.
  • Exercising – Getting out for a walk or a jog may help increase positive hormones in your body, which can suppress pain and improve your mood. However, this option should be considered more of a supplemental care method rather than a substantial pain relief alternative to opiates on its own.
  • Vitamins – Some supplements may help decrease inflammation, such as fish oil and even capsaicin applied directly to the skin. Ensure to talk to your doctor about this option because some supplements may worsen pain by thinning the blood or causing other reactions.
  • Relaxation Therapy – Yoga, breathing exercises, and other simple relaxation techniques may provide some general benefits for pain relief. When combined with calming medicine, this option is likely more effective. The results will vary wildly, depending on the intensity of a person’s pain.
  • Hypnosis – A handful of studies show that hypnosis may help decrease the perception of pain and make relief easier for many people to handle. However, this approach may be limited, as some people do not react to hypnosis and may not get the comfort necessary to decrease their unnecessary suffering.
  • Herbal Remedies – Alternative therapists may use some types of herbs to help decrease oral pain, particularly those that reduce swelling and inflammation. This care option should be considered a supplement to a more intensive and medical pain-relief method.

If interested in these care options, make sure that you have a primary care method in mind that works well with this choice. For example, vitamins may be a good idea when using medical marijuana because they can help counterbalance adverse effects and minimize other concerns.

Finding a Strong Pain Relief Option for Opiates

If you get oral surgery to produce straight teeth, you deserve a pain relief option that works for you. Any of the options above would make a substantial pain relief alternative to opiates, depending on your needs and pain. As a result, it is critical to be careful when choosing which you want.

Just as importantly, you need to take the time to work with your doctor and work with less intense options and work up to more intensive choices. Doing so helps make this process simpler and create short- and long-term pain management to help keep your teeth strong.

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