DENTISTS AND PAINKILLERS
New research into a significant change in New York dental practice has found that dentists can stop prescribing opioids and shift to only recommending over-the-counter pain relievers for patients, all with little to no negative effects. The findings may herald the beginning of a welcome shift away from opioid prescribing by dental practitioners.
When people think of prescription opioids, one of the first images they might get is of a doctor in a lab coat, handing a patient a bottle of pills. And yes, medical doctors are a common source of opiate prescribing. But they are not the only source. Dentists also prescribe opiates.
When we think of how young people are exposed to opiate drugs, what is the first thing we think of? Probably the most likely answer is “peer pressure.“ And not without good reason.
It is safe to say that treating oral pain problems is something that dentists often have to do. But how they go about treating such symptoms is another matter entirely.
Because of a significant increase in painkiller prescriptions to pet owners, veterinarians are being warned to watch for some owners who might be consuming these drugs instead of giving them to their pets.
New research indicates that, when a dentist prescribes opioid painkillers to teens and young adults following wisdom teeth surgery, they are also putting those same teens and young adults at risk for addiction.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you are the parent of a teenage or young adult child. You’re told by your child’s dentist that his (or her) wisdom teeth are going to be a problem and they need to be removed. Dutifully, you make one or more appointments for the extractions.
Another major national organization has just joined the fight against America’s opioid epidemic. The American Dental Association advised its members on the steps they should take so their patients are not exposed to opioid painkillers, reducing the chance of future addiction.