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.