OTC Pain Management Protocol
If you are normally able to take acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) for pain and are not prohibited by your medical doctor from taking any of these due to a medical condition, we advise the following protocol of ibuprofen and acetaminophen for managing acute dental pain:
Ibuprofen: 200 mg**
Acetaminophen: 500 mg
Take 2 ibuprofen* and 2 acetaminophen* tablets together every 4-6 hours as needed for pain.
* Never exceed 3000 mg of acetaminophen or 2400 mg of ibuprofen in a single day.
** One 220 mg naproxen tablet can be substituted for the two ibuprofen tablets if preferred.
As the use of opioids has increased to epidemic proportions over the past decade, over-the-counter alternatives for managing acute dental pain have been studied extensively.
Researchers in a study published in JADA (Journal of the American Dental Association) found that ibuprofen in combination with acetaminophen yields better results than opioid drugs because it sufficiently relieves pain, lowers side effects, and removes the risk of dependency.