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Over the counter pain medication more effective than opioids after all dental procedures, study shows

Researchers explored the efficacy of over-the-counter pain medication compared to opioids following various dental procedures, The New York Times reports.

After analyzing five medication and medication combination studies, the authors published their results in The Journal of the American Dental Association. Data from the studies included randomized trials of oral medication for severe postoperative dental pain, including molar extraction.

Results showed the most effective pain relief was a combination of 400 milligrams of ibuprofen with 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen. No opioid or medication containing opioids was more effective at treating pain with fewer side effects.

While the authors noted some patients will only get relief from opioids, its is best for most patients to be offered over-the-counter medication initially. The researchers noted for many patients, opioids proved to be less effective and can come with severe side effects.

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