Opioid abuse has continued to grow with each passing year, and unfortunately, dentistry has been affected by this phenomenon as well. Opioids are often used to treat dental pain which can lead to the patient misuse and abuse of these drugs. In 2016, more deaths occurred from opioid abuse than ever before, an increase that includes prescription opioids. As a result, the American Dental Association is providing education to dental professionals about the impact of opioid abuse among dental patients and preventative approaches that can be utilized to diminish this problem. Dr. Dominique Lizzio, Dr. John Cerrato, and Dr. George Sheehan are committed to ongoing education and practical approaches to preventing the misuse of opioids among dental patients and are here for you to address your worries and questions.

The ADA and the CDC’s Helpful Tools and Guidelines

The ADA has made it easy for dental health professionals to stay educated about opioid abuse. For the past six years, the ADA has offered free webinars for dental health professionals. The training focuses on identifying patients who would be at risk for substance abuse and providing non-narcotic alternatives to manage dental pain, as a preventative measure. The ADA also encourages utilizing the guidelines set by the CDC as well as utilizing helpful tools like their state’s prescription drug monitoring program, and their Drug Enforcement Administration prescribing authorities.

Dental health professionals have many tools and resources that they can use to prevent opioid abuse among patients. However, education is the cornerstone of prevention. The ADA has made ongoing education free and easy to access for dental health professionals. Plus, the use of non-narcotic drugs is often the first line of defense. When combined, education and preventative measures can go a long way in making an impact. Your Garden City, NY dental team is here to be part of the solution and help provide caring, preventative practices to you.

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