2021 Clinical Review: Recommendations for the Management of Acute Dental Pain

May-June 2021

man holding cheek in pain

The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend non-opioid analgesics as first line agents to manage acute dental pain. 

Examples of non-opioid analgesics include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. Studies have shown that NSAIDs are more effective at reducing pain than opioid analgesics. 

NSAIDs are recommended as the first-line therapy for acute dental pain management. 

If opioid use is necessary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to use the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioids for the expected duration of pain severe enough to require opioid analgesics.