The Dental Healthcare Professional’s Role in Substance Abuse Prevention

Managing dental pain associated with dental procedures and/or dentoalveolar conditions is a critical part of proper patient management. As a profession, it is critical that we are addressing patients’ discomfort, but also that we are cognizant to reduce harm and risk of substance misuse. Recent reviews have assessed optimal prescribing patterns, including the use of NSAID pain relievers as first-line analgesics.3

For acute pain, including that often encountered in the dental office due to infection or trauma following invasive dental procedures, limiting prescription of opioid dosage and duration to no more than seven days is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ADA.91,92

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