American Dental Association Calls for 7 Day Limits on Opioids

More than 115 Americans overdose on opioids every day, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and heroin has become a national epidemic. And now, 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 American Dental Association 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. This new policy demonstrates ADA’s firm commitment to help fight the country’s opioid epidemic while continuing to help patients manage dental pain,” ADA president Joseph Crowley said in the Monday announcement.

The new policy also supports making continuing education courses focusing on limiting opioid use a requirement for licensing dentists, mandates many states have adopted. 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. And while the percentage of opioids prescribed by dentists has decreased since 1998, dentists are still the leading prescribers of opioids for U.S. teens.

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.

  • 1 Commentby Likes|Date
  • I think dentists/oral surgeons are some of the most reckless medical professionals when it comes to prescribing opiates. A while back, I wrote a blog about an experience I had when I had a wisdom tooth pulled. Here's a link in case anyone's interested in reading it:

    Can We Maybe Cool It with the RXs?

    All pain does not require hardcore pain meds!
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