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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

Overprescribing of opioids to adults by dentists in the U.S., 2011-2015.

Suda KJ, Zhou J, Rowan SA, et al. Am J Prev Med. 2020;58(4):473-486.

National guidelines published in 2016 recommend prescribing low-dose opioids for short durations when necessary, including in dentistry practices. This cross-sectional analysis of over 500,000 commercial dental patients over a five-year period (2011-2015) examined prescribing practices prior to the recommendations and found that 29% of prescribed opioids exceeded the recommended dose for management of acute pain and half (53%) exceeded the recommended days’ supply. The authors emphasize the importance of evidence-based interventions tailored to dentistry to curtail excessive opioid prescribing.