In a series of three studies involving dental outpatients undergoing removal of impacted third molars, preoperative and postoperative administration of flurbiprofen (Ansaid, Upjohn) led to superior pain relief when compared with acetaminophen alone or in combination with oxycodone. Patient preference and global evaluations clearly favored flurbiprofen. Side effects were mild and generally more common in patients receiving the opiate/mild analgesic combination. In two additional studies, flurbiprofen and etidocaine, a long-acting local anesthetic, also resulted in significantly less postoperative pain than a combination of acetaminophen/oxycodone and lidocaine; 67 percent of patients in the flurbiprofen plus etidocaine group reported no or only slight pain during the entire observation period. The greater analgesic efficacy of flurbiprofen appears to represent a genuine therapeutic advantage, since it is not achieved at the expense of greater side effects.