Pain is a problem of global proportions with an increasing acceptance as the fifth vital sign at the same level of significance with blood pressure, pulse and respiration. It is a subjective oral health indicator and one of the most common reason patients seek dental treatment. Pain poses an important ethical and financial concern resulting in unnecessary suffering, sleep disturbances, diminished social activities, an increased school and job absenteeism and reduction of quality of life. Reduction of dental pain and consequences are targets of Global Goals for Oral Health 2020. The aim of this study was to evaluate the analgesic effectiveness of paracetamol and ibuprofen in the pharmacologic management of acute post-operative dental pain, after a third mandibular molar (M3) surgery.
This study employed the visual analogue scale to assess the effectiveness of single doses of ibuprofen and paracetamol over a six-hour period, following M3 surgery in a healthy and homogenous study population, matched for age, body mass index (BMI) and gender. Alarms were set to remind patients to score pain intensity at time point 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 hours, post-dosing. A measure of the difference between the pain scores at the various time intervals and that at the basal level (time = 0) is the pain intensity difference (PID) at the various time intervals. Five brands of the agents used were priced in ten registered and reputable pharmaceutical stores and the average cost per dose, in naira determined. Data obtained were analysed, using the SPSS version 16.0. P<0.05 was considered significant. xv
Ibuprofen showed a statistically significant superiority over paracetamol from time 2.5 hours to the sixth hour (P<0.05) following M3 surgery. There is no statistically significant difference between paracetamol and placebo. The costs of both drugs, per unit dose were comparable.