Dentists Cut Back on Opioid Prescriptions

Dentist With Teenager

Dentists Lead the Nation in Teen Opioid Scripts

The American Dental Association is calling for dentists to be more vigilant about prescribing opioids, especially to teens.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the American Dental Association is advocating its support for the statutory seven-day limit for opioid prescriptions, a renewed stance that comes at a time when dental prescriptions were on the rise as opioid prescriptions were declining across the country.

The Chicago-based group represents around 161,000 dentists in the country.

“As president of the ADA, I call upon dentists everywhere to double down on their efforts to prevent opioids from harming our patients and their families,” ADA president Joseph Crowley said in the Monday announcement. “This new policy demonstrates ADA’s firm commitment to help fight the country’s opioid epidemic while continuing to help patients manage dental pain.”

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The ADA announcement cites new research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association that sheds light on the public health epidemic from the dental perspective. 

Though most opioids are prescribed to patients by physicians and other medical professionals, dentists often prescribe opioids for short-term pain management, including for extractions, root canals and severe tooth decay.

For many of these younger patients, “This is going to be their first experience with opioids,” Dr. Paul Moore, co-author of the analysis, told Modern Healthcare. “Maybe it is our opportunity to stop and counsel patients about the dangers.”

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To learn more about how dentists are aiming to curb teen opioid abuse, please visit the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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