Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen Together in Dental Surgery

Dental surgeries usually require a course of pain relievers to comfort the patient after the effect of anesthesia wears away. Several types of pain relievers can help to subside the pain. However, clinically, acetaminophen and ibuprofen show profound effects. Both of these medications are different from each other, but together they can do wonders.

Acetaminophen belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics. It works by elevating the pain threshold in the body. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and works as an enzyme blocker to relieve pain. (1) Many clinical studies have shown that together, these medications can manage the pain after dental surgery without causing significant side effects. Moreover, the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is an excellent alternative to opioid drugs.


Opioid addiction is a global topic of debate. Opioid medications can have potential side effects o nan individual. Around 115 Americans die each day as a result of an opioid overdose.  Therefore, it is necessary to understand the importance of alternate medications.

What should be the optimal dosage?

The maximum safe dosage of acetaminophen for people above the age of 12 years is between 3000-4000 mg per day. For children below 12 years of age, the healthcare provider can determine the safe dosage based on body weight. (2)

The safe dosage for ibuprofen is usually 1200 mg per day. Keeping the safe dosage levels in mind, you can take a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen to relieve dental pain after surgical procedure. A research study found that a combination of 400 mg of ibuprofen and 1000 mg of acetaminophen was superior to any opioid-containing drug.

Although this combination completed its purpose of pain relief. There were mild side-effects associated with it, such as abdominal pain. (3) To solve this issue, the professionals recommend taking ibuprofen first, followed by acetaminophen after four hours. The patient may repeat the combination within limits if required.

Complications due to overdose

Sometimes, a person may be concerned about the amount of ibuprofen and acetaminophen taken as compared to the usual dosage. To be aware of this mishappening, there are few symptoms of overdosage that the patient must look out for –

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Convulsions
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Diarrhea and stomach pain
  • Skin rash

The main aim after every dental surgery is to provide pain relief to the patient at home. The combination of acetaminophen and ibuprofen has demonstrated improved results in pain management.

Moreover, it has proven to be an effective drug therapy as compared to prescription opioid formulations. But sometimes opioids may seem like a suitable option depending on the patient’s condition.


Therefore, it is always best to consult your doctor and get prescribed medications for pain relief after dental surgeries. Although the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is beneficial, it may not be suitable for some people.


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