A lot of emails have been coming in that express concern with the proper use of painkillers. Some people are upset that prescription is for so little, others are worried about how many times a day you can pop them, while still others are afraid of addiction and of developing psychological problems or bad habits due to taking drugs. This topic seems to need some fleshing out, and so I thought I would post a general little article about painkillers and how to use them.
What painkillers are good for
Pain is a natural part of the healing process, but thanks to the ingenuity of man, we discovered quite early on that you do not need to suffer through it in order to heal. You can blot out your sense of pain while the body does the healing, without interfering with the healing process. This is what painkillers are for, to dull the sense of pai during the healing period, and not during other times. This is why the recommended dosage should not be exceeded, except perhaps if you are writhing in pain (many time though, if the pain is that bad, taking more of the same medication will not help, and stronger or a different kind of medication is needed).
The problem with this is that painkillers are addictive. They produce dopamine, which the brain simply loves, and wants more of. When the source of the dopamine is gone, the brain longs for it, and the lack of dopamine may make life seem miserable, and you may even feel pain. This is sensory though, and you must not take anymore painkillers, otherwise you will become addicted. Painkiller addictions can get so bad that your body may need it just to do basic functions like digest food, sleep, be aware or come out of depression for long enough to be able to do your daily tasks. A good dentist should know how much painkillers you need, and should be able to stop the dosage before you become addicted, and should not prescribe you anymore, so you really have nothing to worry about in that regard.
Painkillers are NOT medication
Although they come in pill form and ease pain and make you feel better, painkillers do not actually make you better, they have no healing properties whatsoever. They are not medication in any sense of the word. Because of this, eating more of them will not make you heal faster, an increased dosage does not mean accelerated healing times, in fact, it may mean just the opposite. Take painkillers only when you feel pain, and only for as long as you feel pain.