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Objective: To compare the efficacy of turmeric extract (curcuminoids) to ibuprofen on postoperative pain control after lower third molar surgery.
Materials and Methods: Eighty-six patients requiring lower third-molar surgery with moderate difficulty from three centers were randomly assigned to two groups: one receiving 500 mg of curcuminoids and the other 400 mg of ibuprofen three times daily for three days. Pain intensity was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS) at 1, 2, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72 hours, and 7 days after surgery. If necessary, the rescue analgesic drug was paracetamol 325 mg with tramadol 37.5 mg. Statistical analyses were conducted using independent t-tests and the Chi-square test.
Results: There were 43 patients in the curcuminoids group and 43 in the ibuprofen group. One participant in the ibuprofen group withdrew from the study due to severe postoperative pain with alveolar osteitis. The baseline characteristics did not statistically differ between the two groups. At 6 hours post-operation, the mean pain intensity score of the curcuminoids group (5.33±2.71) reached its highest peak, which was statistically significantly higher (p<0.05) than that of the ibuprofen group (2.74±2.06). The highest peak in the ibuprofen group occurred at 2 hours post-operation, with a score of 2.96±2.60. The need for rescue analgesics was significantly higher in the curcuminoids group (32.6%) compared to the ibuprofen group (14.3%) (p<0.05).
Conclusions: The efficacy of pain control in the low dose of turmeric extract (curcuminoids) 1500 mg per day was lower than ibuprofen 1200 mg per day after lower third molar surgery with moderate difficulty levels. The low dose of curcuminoids could be used in tooth extraction and other minor oral surgery with mild pain or in the condition that NSAIDs are not indicated. The higher dose of curcuminoids can be used for proper pain control in further study.
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