Opioids after dental work can be dangerous


By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Get a prescription for an opioid painkiller dentist you could put yourself or your family at risk overdose, warns a new study.

The finding is based on a data analysis of 8.5 million Americans who had their teeth pulled or 119 types of dental work between 2011 and 2018. They all had Medicaid or private dental insurance.

“Our article shows that when patients fill teeth opioids prescriptions, the risk of opioid overdose increases for both them and their families, ”said the head of the study, Dr. Kao-Ping Chua, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“This underscores the importance of avoiding the prescription of dental opioids when non-opioids like them. ibuprofè [Motrin] i acetaminophen [Tylenol] they are effective options for pain control, as is the case with most dental procedures, ”Chua added in a university press release.

However, nearly 27% of teens and adults applied a prescription for an opioid painkiller, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, and 2,700 opioid overdoses occurred within 90 days of dental procedures, according to the study.


According to the report, the overall rate of opioid overdose was about three per 10,000 dental procedures. But the rate was 2.5 times higher among patients who filled the opioid prescription within three days after the procedure than among those who did not (5.8 versus 2.2 per 10,000).

In 2016 alone, U.S. dentists wrote 11.4 million opioid prescriptions, so the results suggest that 1,700 overdoses a year could be associated with dental opioid prescriptions, the authors said. of the study.

Family members of dental patients receiving opioid prescriptions are also at risk for overdose, according to the results.

The researchers examined data from 3.5 million privately insured dental patients and found that 400 of their relatives were treated for opioid overdose within 90 days of the patient’s procedure.

The rate was 1.7 per 10,000 procedures among relatives of privately insured patients who complied with opioid prescriptions, compared with 1 per 10,000 procedures among those who did not. Patients’ children accounted for 42% of family overdoses, spouses for 25%, and the rest occurred in siblings and parents.


“Our finding of an increased risk of overdose in family members also shows the importance of emphasizing safe storage and disposal when opioids are prescribed to dental patients,” said Chua, a Michigan pediatrician and researcher at health care at the Susan B. Meister Research Health Evaluation Research Center in Ann Arbor.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Romesh Nalliah, associate dean of patient services at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, said this is one of the most powerful truths the team unblocked in its study of “massive data” on prescribing. of dental opioids. “That when a dentist, like me, prescribes an opioid to a patient, I put their whole family at risk of overdose,” he said. “Dentists should keep in mind, if the family in question were yours, would you take that risk?”

The study was published online on April 29 at American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more information prescription opioids.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, press release, April 29, 2021

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