Anti-inflammatory drugs are now one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the market. These drugs, like pain killers and muscle relaxants, are often used to relieve chronic pain. While anti-inflammatory drugs, which can be administered to affect only small areas of the body, are now used in various specialized fields of medicine. In particular, these drugs are starting to see more use as an anesthetic during oral surgery.
For decades, mild anesthetics have been in used for oral surgery to minimize the pain or discomfort of patients. Dentists, particularly those in the field of orthodontics, have been using a variety of pain reducing formulas to lessen or prevent the sudden movement of patients who will naturally react to the surgical procedure, if not anesthetic is used. However, with the limited effects of anesthetics, relief from the pain and discomfort that comes after a major dental procedure is only for a very limited time.
For this reason, the use of Anti-inflammatory drugs is being marketed as a potential alternative or supplement to anesthetic use. The anti-inflammatory effects are confined to a specific area and almost always immediate, making it ideal for dental and orthodontic applications. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also widely accepted by dental professionals as medication for other post-surgery care and therapeutic procedures.
What is the actual application of anti-inflammatory drugs in dental care? These medications are administered to control the swelling of gums and minimize the pain from tooth extraction, root canal operations, setting up of dental braces, and even oral prophylaxis. By working on the tender and sensitive oral tissues, the dentist often has to provide pain killers and other drugs that reduce swelling inside the mouth and gum structure. In fact, anti-inflammatory drugs have been found to reduce pain better the the usual muscle relaxant or pain killer.
Why so? The active ingredients of muscle relaxants are only concentrated on muscles attached to the main skeleton, or those muscles that require the base support of the skeletal system in order to function. Pain killers, on the other hand, are less selective or less precise in terms of its effect on the body. Pain killers can be compared to a shotgun, while muscle relaxants can be compared to an ordinary rifle. Anti-inflammatory drugs, however, can be likened to a sniper rifle with a mounted scope.
Although still in use today, anesthetics can be difficult to administer before oral surgery because it has to be injected into the patient’s gums. Anti-inflammatory drugs are now gradually seen as a viable alternative because its potency can be concentrated on a specific spot and its efficacy is appropriate for dental use. Still, these drugs are not considered as the total replacement for conventional anesthetics. Currently, several studies are being conducted to improve the uses of these drugs in oral care and surgery to finally determine its worth not only as a pain and swelling reducer, but also as a viable alternative to anesthetics.