New pain management guidelines released for adolescent, adult dental patients

The American Dental Association recently released new guidelines to manage short-term dental pain in adolescent and adult dental patients. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken alone or with acetaminophen are recommended as first-line treatments for patients who are at least 12 years old. 

The guidelines were created in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and the Center for Integrative Global Oral Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia, the ADA said Feb. 5.

The panel found that NSAIDs taken alone or with acetaminophen can manage pain in patients who have had a tooth removed or who are experiencing a toothache when dental care is not immediately available.

The groups also gave guidance for prescribing opioid medications in the limited circumstances in which they may be appropriate, which include advising patients on proper storage and disposal and considering risk factors for misuse and adverse events.

The new guidelines come after the ADA released guidance in August for managing pain in pediatric patients.

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