Will you need to take a prescribed pain killer after your upcoming dental procedure? Not to worry. When used as directed, these medications–usually opioids–help to minimize your post-operation pain. Morphine, for example, can help reduce tooth pain after a procedure or make a recovery from the removal of wisdom teeth manageable. However, when used for any other purpose or misused, they can be very dangerous and illegal. So being cautious about taking prescription drugs is a positive thing.
More than 47,000 Americans died of opioid overdose in 2017, and more than 2 million Americans currently live with an addiction to opioids. That's too many. It's safe to say that it's essential to take precautions if your dentist (or doctor) prescribes you with opioids. As you read on, we'll look into what opioids are, how to properly use prescription medications, and alternative options for pain management.