After Wisdom Tooth Removal Pain Management

Pain Management Plan for Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure

A certain amount of discomfort is to be expected and varies with the surgery performed. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and/or a narcotic pain (Percocet or Norco) medication may be prescribed. This is based on the procedure performed and the anticipated pain level.  Here is a strategy to reduce postoperative discomfort that reduces the need for narcotic pain medication:

  1. Take 2-3 tablets (equaling 400-600 mg) of ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) before the numbing agent (local anesthetic) wears off. The numbing agent will last approximately 4-8 hours after surgery.
  2. Approximately 3 hours after the ibuprofen dose, take 1-2 tablets of regular strength Tylenol (equaling 650 mg). If you have extra strength Tylenol, take only 1 tablet.
  3. After approximately 3 hours take 2-3 tablets of ibuprofen. Continue to alternate between these 2 medications for the first three days after surgery.
  4. If pain is not controlled adequately, the narcotic pain medication (Percocet or Norco) may be substituted for the Tylenol dose.

Example pain medication schedule for mild to moderate pain for first three days after surgery:

Ibuprofen (3 tabs) – 3 hours-Tylenol (2 tabs)- 3 hours-Ibuprofen (3 tabs)

You do not need to wake up in the middle of the night to take the scheduled dose of medication. Just resume with the medications when you wake up in the morning.

Upon returning home, make sure to hydrate with plenty of fluids and start to eat soft, cold foods to ensure you don’t take pain medication on an empty stomach.

The maximum dose of ibuprofen is 3200 mg in 24 hours. The maximum dose of Tylenol is 3000 mg in 24 hours. The narcotic pain medication contains Tylenol and therefore additional Tylenol should not be taken with the narcotic pain medication.