Both unethical promotion and rampant over prescribing of opioids have contributed to the current public health emergency we face in the United States. Did dentists inappropriately or excessively prescribe opioids for pain and if so, has this pattern changed since 2015? We will discuss the unique risks associated with opioid use and outline strategies for opioid-sparing analgesia in dental practice. Acute pain guidelines from CDC, AAOMS and ADA will be compared with emphasis on practical applications in daily practice. We will identify effective pain relief alternatives based on individual patient characteristics and discuss important drug interactions with analgesics. Extensive and very current handouts will maximize the chairside value of this timely information.
After attending this course and reviewing the handouts, the participant should be able to:
1. Review the causes for and consequences of the current opioid epidemic in the U.S.,
2. Explain the relative pain relief effectiveness of non-opioid and opioid agents in acute pain,
3. Discuss the benefits and risks of specific pain control regimens for effective dental analgesia, and
4. List the most clinically significant drug interactions with dental analgesics.