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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Organizational Policy/Guidelines

Opioid guidelines for common dental surgical procedures: a multidisciplinary panel consensus.

Farooqi OA, Bruhn WE, Lecholop MK, et al. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2020;49(3):397-402.

The over-prescribing of opioids is a recognized contributor to patient harm. This multidisciplinary panel developed six recommendations to manage pain after dental procedures while reducing harm to patients:

(1) Offer alternatives to opioids after dental surgery to interested patients when clinically appropriate.

(2) Avoid prescribing opioids after dental surgery if pain is comfortably management with over-the-counter medication.

(3) Advise patients about non-pharmacological therapies (e.g., cold, heat, distraction).

(4) Teach patients to maximize non-narcotic (over the counter) pain medication with scheduled dosing unless contraindicated.

(5) Engage in shared decision-making with patients.

(6) Consider factors such as medical contraindications, risk for addiction, and risk aversion when prescribing opioids.