impact of the opioid epidemic has been felt in communities across all 50
states. Following physicians, dentists are among the leading prescribers of
opioids. Curbing the epidemic’s exponential trajectory requires special
attention from dental educators. Academic dental institutions are using a
variety of methods to mitigate substance misuse, including curriculum and
clinical protocol changes. Dental educators are key to teaching best practices
in prescribing to the next generation of practicing dentists.
have been identified as among the leading prescribers of opioids. Used to
alleviate pain, dental practitioners have commonly prescribed opioids after
tooth extractions or surgical procedures. The removal of third molars, most
routinely performed during the teen years, has received significant focus since
dentists are the highest prescribers of opioids for this vulnerable age group.
In 2009, dentists wrote 12% of the opioid prescriptions in the United States,
and family physicians accounted for 15% of opioid prescriptions. ADEA’s Office
of Policy, Research and Diversity has published a policy brief that
demonstrates academic dentistry’s contributions to combating the opioid crisis;
the four-page publication is available online and will be onsite in
printed form at the 2018 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.
Published on March 14, 2018