Post-Operative Pain Management Guide

Pain from dental and oral surgery may vary from slight discomfort to more severe pain. Pain reaches its peak during the first 24 to 48 hours postoperatively. To assist your recovery from surgery, effective pain management is one of our priorities. This is achieved by attacking the pain in three ways:

  1. by infiltrating the operative area with local anaesthetic
  2. by using anti-inflammatory medication
  3. by the use of oral analgesia, usually Panadeine Forte.

During the procedure

Pain management will commence in the operating room while you are still under the anaesthetic. At that time the operative site will be injected with a long-acting local anaesthetic. This should make your mouth numb and pain-free for up to 6 hours.


At home

As the local anaesthetic wears off you may start to feel a tingling sensation or some discomfort. At this time you may take the prescribed painkillers. We suggest that alternating Panadeine Forte and Ibuprofen (Nurofen) third hourly will significantly reduce postoperative dental pain. (Be aware that the maximum dose of Panadeine Forte in 24 hours is 8, and of Nurofen is 6). Regular analgesia on the day of surgery is recommended.

Pain medication can be reduced as suits the individual but usually after two days. Firstly reduce the Panadeine Forte tablets, as these are the most likely to cause side effects, then reduce the anti inflammatory tablets (Nurofen). Paracetamol (Panadol) can be used when the need for the very strong analgesics lessens.


Adverse reactions

The codeine in the Panadeine Forte may cause nausea and vomiting and possibly constipation. If you start to feel nauseated, halving the dose may help. If vomiting persists, stop taking Panadeine Forte and change to Panadeine or Panadol. If vomiting continues please contact your surgeon, local doctor or attend your local hospital.


NOTE: This care plan may need to be modified if you have allergies or sensitivities to certain drugs, or if you have any special needs. Please discuss these matters with your anaesthetist or surgeon.