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rebbel's avatar

What is a word for taking measures in order to prevent something?

Asked by rebbel (35553points) October 18th, 2018

(Or soften the experience, rather)
Next week I have an appointment with the dental hygienist, and since I have had several before in the past years, I know from experience that it’s very likely that I’ll be in pain.
My idea is to take a couple of painkillers, before I go, to hopefully don’t feel it so bad.
How do we call such action?
It’s not preemptive, right?
Or precautious, right?

More important, will this taking-painkillers-before-the-appointment work?

Thanks in advance.

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28 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

Precautionary or cautious.
Phone ahead to dentist to find out if one can take painkillers as they may give you some at that appointment via needles or pills?

rebbel's avatar

I am considering that, @Inspired_2write, I think she even offered me that service the last time I visited.

I still would like to hear if this tactic of precautionary (thanks!) sedation may work.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Um, it is preemptive, but you should definately ask first. Probably would affect your blood pressure and pain levels, plus if you get gas or any anesthetic, they’ll need to know so you don’t die.

rebbel's avatar


Thanks, that’s very comforting ~

ragingloli's avatar


Jeruba's avatar

precautionary or prophylactic

But I agree that you should ask first. Anything that has a blood-thinning effect, for instance, could be a bad idea, as would anything that might interact adversely with whatever anesthetic they use.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@rebbel Sorry, it’s a fact. lol I would have felt bad NOT saying something.

But, if you are taking opioids, you may breathe differently — more deeply and slowly than you normally would. Problems occur when opioids slow your breathing too much. This can dramatically reduce the volume of air you take in.

rebbel's avatar

Okay, thank you all, I will take all your advice at heart.
Thank you as well for the offered words.

By the way, I am talking about taking two paracetamol, or two nerofen/ibuprofen; pretty mild stuff.
But, I will inform them beforehand, and/or ask for anesthetic help.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Planning ahead?

flutherother's avatar

Don’t self-medicate, explain your situation to your dentist. Anaesthesia has advanced to the point where you should feel little more than discomfort on a visit to the dentist. My dentist tells me to raise my hand if I feel pain and she will stop but I have never had to do this.

canidmajor's avatar

I wish for you a painless event. I get stressed and weird and hurt and occasionally my eyes leak a bit. I get needing a bit of pain relief.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@flutherother Agreed.

@rebbel Is this just for a deep cleaning?

rebbel's avatar

Yeah, with the emphasis on deep.
I have paradontitis.
I do floss, and use tooth picks and interdental brushes, but after a couple of months my discipline starts to wane a little, so there’s always some work.

@canidmajor I’m pretty much the same.
Thanks for your wish!
@flutherother I have similar rules with my dentist.
And I know about progression in anesthetics; I’ve received it when I had root canals done, and it’s a blessing.
The thing is, the cleaning at the dental hygienist is painful, but only while the procedure lasts; when I’m out on my bike it’s all gone already.
But the pain is agonizing, to me.
I give this pain a 7, on a scale of one to ten.

flutherother's avatar

I go every three months for the cleaning treatment. It is unpleasant but preferable to losing my teeth. It isn’t so very painful to me but it always makes my eyes water. I know the procedure won’t take long and I mentally detach myself from the pain as much as possible.

janbb's avatar

^^ But he is Scottish and they are tough – not like you wimpy Dutchmen! :-)

I would just call and ask them if it is ok if you take paracetamol in anticipation of discomfort. It should be fine but check.

canidmajor's avatar

A 2 by 4 applied smartly to the cranium is also a good distraction.

flutherother's avatar

@janbb It’s easy for you. I don’t believe penguins even have teeth.

ucme's avatar

Deter is not entirely misplaced here, nor even thwart, which just sounds lovely anyway.

janbb's avatar

@flutherother Oops! Just looked in the mirror.

chyna's avatar

Preventative or preventive measures?
Good luck!

si3tech's avatar


LadyMarissa's avatar

Ask the dentist to give you Nitrous Oxide. You won’t know anything between the time they put the mask over your nose until they bring you back to earth with the Oxygen. Some dentists will do this & others refuse. I had a root canal without any Novocaine & have NO idea how long I was under nor how bad it had hurt!!! The most I knew was that I got into the chair at 2:15 & was paying the bill & leaving the office at 4:30…NOTHING in between!!!

You might want to buy a small bottle of Oil of Clove to assist with any pain after the fact. My dentist puts Oil of Clove in the hole after drilling out a cavity & before putting in the filling to minimize any discomfort when the Novocaine wears off. Now, any major dental work I control with 2 Aleve & Oil of Clove as needed!!! Neither works by themselves; but, together I am pain FREE!!!

kritiper's avatar

Preventative maintenance.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I looked up the definition of “prophylactic”’s mainly to prevent disease.

Zaku's avatar

Preventative or preemptive are good, if you mean they’ll be effective and preventing something.

But if you’re just hoping to reduce the effect, then maybe mitigating or precautionary or proactive or defensive, or in this case, perhaps pre-medicating.

But really you should tell your dentist you are terrified by the idea of the pain of this procedure, and ask what they can do to help, and that you are considering pre-medicating yourself with painkillers before you come in. I imagine he’ll tell you not to, so they can feel responsible giving you the better painkillers they have.

I am myself phobic of dental experiences, and I have to say that dentists have some very effective painkillers these days, and that I’ve been able to find some nice dentists and technicians who do a great job and make things not so bad for me – mostly I’m dealing with my own anxiety rather than actual pain

Pinguidchance's avatar

If it was a problem with a sty or a wart you could use stymie or thwart , how about predentive?

Adagio's avatar

I would call the taking of painkillers an attempt at mitigation.

Pinguidchance's avatar

If it was a problem with the back teeth you could use the term mollification.

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