Spurred by concerns about opioid addiction and antibiotic overuse, experts have urged clinicians across health care disciplines to take a hard look at their prescribing habits. Dentists, who are numbered among the nation’s leading prescribers of opioids and antibiotics, have been included in these warnings.
Dentists were responsible for writing more than 11 million opioid prescriptions one recent year, yet experts have cautioned that addiction often begins with such routine prescriptions. Continue reading
Overall, across America, about 15% of children and one-third of adults have gone longer than a year without a dental visit, federal data show.
But rates of children and adults getting oral health services, and factors that can represent barriers to access – including provider shortages and the cost of care – vary from state to state.
Over five months, Arthur Kane, an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, immersed himself in the workings of the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners.
Kane combed through state audits and internal documents and delved into the stories of patients who were left suffering by dentists who were allowed to keep practicing. He weighed troubling allegations raised by a local dental society. In October, he emerged with a six-part series, “Painful Mistakes.” Continue reading
Across America, dentists write about 10% of all antibiotic prescriptions, data show, making them the top specialty prescribers of antibiotics in the U.S. one recent year.
But do the benefits of all these prescriptions outweigh their potential for harm? Amid concerns about antibiotic resistance – and the spread of Clostridioides difficile, a bacterium that causes antibiotic-associated colitis – researchers are saying “no.” Continue reading
Photo: ME via Flickr
While oral health and dentist-use are generally similar in United States and England, U.S dentists write 37 times as many opioid prescriptions as their English counterparts, according to a newly published study.
The findings, reported in May in JAMA Network Open, highlight an ongoing concern about the prescribing habits of US health practitioners and how they may be contributing to America’s epidemic of opioid abuse. Continue reading
Photo: ME via Flickr
Calling upon the nation’s oral health providers to do their part in addressing a national opioid crisis that claims an estimated 115 lives a day, the American Dental Association (ADA) has endorsed statutory dosage and seven-day duration limits on opioid prescriptions for the treatment of acute pain.
In a recent announcement, the professional group, which represents more than 161,000 dentist members*, also supported mandatory continuing education to inform dentists about evidence-based opioid prescribing practices. Continue reading