Analgesics in Dentistry

Course #55044 - $45 -


There are a myriad of analgesic products sold over-the-counter in drug stores and supermarkets as nonprescription pain relievers. People experiencing dental pain are likely to self-medicate with these nonprescription pain relievers before seeing the dentist. In order for a drug product to achieve nonprescription status, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires it to be safe and effective. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that were originally approved only as prescription drugs and are now also sold over-the-counter include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. These two have joined aspirin, which has always had a status of over-the-counter availability. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium have established a niche over the years as over-the-counter products for the relief of dental pain. The latest information on their use and effectiveness is included in this course.

Education Category: Pharmacology
Release Date: 10/01/2022
Expiration Date: 09/30/2025

Table of Contents


This course is designed for all dental professionals.

Accreditations & Approvals

NetCE Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. 10/1/2021 to 9/30/2027 Provider ID #217994. NetCE is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Dentistry, Provider #50-2405. NetCE is a Registered Provider with the Dental Board of California. Provider Number RP3841. Completion of this course does not constitute authorization for the attendee to perform any services that he or she is not legally authorized to perform based on his or her license or permit type. NetCE is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this activity for 5 continuing education credits. AGD Subject Code 200. This course meets the Dental Board of California's requirements for 5 unit(s) of continuing education. Dental Board of California course #05-3841-24361. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 0.5 CEU(s) for this program.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to describe new reports and new information on analgesics for the dental professional to use in determining the best pharmacotherapeutic approach in those situations requiring oral analgesics.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the analgesic effectiveness of the nonprescription pain relievers in treating dental pain.
  2. Compare and contrast the analgesic effectiveness of the nonselective NSAIDs in dental pain.
  3. Describe the cardiovascular effects of ibuprofen.
  4. Discuss the role of ibuprofen/narcotic combin­ations in the treatment of dental pain.
  5. Describe the dosage and efficacy of COX-2 inhibitors.
  6. List the hydrocodone and oxycodone products for dental pain.
  7. Describe the unique mechanisms of action and uses of nontraditional analgesics.


Richard L. Wynn, BSPharm, PhD, is the lead author of Lexi-Comp's Drug Information Handbook for Dentistry, now in its 25th edition, a recognized reference source in dentistry in North America. He is the recognized authority in the use of drugs in dental practice, and his credibility as an information resource to the dental health professional has been well established. Dr. Wynn has been teaching pharmacology to dental students and has been doing research in analgesia and pain control over the last 25 years.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Richard L. Wynn, BSPharm, PhD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

Mark J. Szarejko, DDS, FAGD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.