August 6, 2010

Pain management for dental procedures

No one wants their pet to be in pain after a dental procedure. We are focused on keeping our patients as comfortable as possible after any dental treatment. We accomplish this goal by utilizing a variety of drugs and techniques in combination, a philosophy known as “multi-modal” pain control. Preventing pain in the first place goes a long way in controlling pain after the patient goes home. Some of the techniques and drug classes we employ include:

  1. Administration of pain medications (such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) prior to the commencement of anesthesia and surgery.
  2. Utilizing analgesics (such as morphine) as part of the anesthesia protocol. Keep in mind that many anesthetic drugs keep the patient asleep, but do not do anything to decrease pain.
  3. Employing long-acting local and regional nerve blocks prior to starting any painful procedure.
  4. Administering IV constant-rate infusion drugs during the procedure that help decrease the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
  5. Continuing IV pain medication after the surgical procedure, until the patient is released to go home.
  6. Sending home appropriate pain medication for the patient, which might include some combination of opiates, anti-inflammatory medications, and complimentary medications.
  7. Suturing all surgical sites closed.

No two patients are alike, and the specific drugs, doses, and techniques employed are always tailored to each individual patient’s needs. We are happy to discuss any concerns you have regarding the control of your pet’s discomfort following any dental procedure.