Important Studies on Opioid Prescribing: Implications for Dentistry

Recently on this site several articles have appeared discussing opioid prescribing after wisdom teeth removal see for example the posts Do Oral Surgeons Give Too Many Opioids for Wisdom Teeth Removal? and Opioid Prescriptions From Dental Clinicians for Young Adults and Subsequent Opioid Use and Abuse. Very recently several interesting studies regarding opioid prescribing have published. The first study is titled “Trends in Opioid Prescribing for Adolescents and Young Adults in Ambulatory Care Settings” written by Hudgins et al. appearing in Pediatrics in June 2019 (vol.143, no. 6, e20181578). The article explored opioid prescribing for adolescents (ages 13 to 17) and young adults (ages 18 to 22) receiving care in emergency departments and outpatient clinics. Data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) and National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) over the time period from January 1, 2005, … Read more

Do Oral Surgeons Give Too Many Opioids for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

An interesting article titled “Do Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Over-Prescribe Opioids After Extraction of Asymptomatic Third Molars?” written by Resnick et al. appears in the 2019 edition of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The authors perform a study using patients at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts to determine how many opioids (taken as oxycodone) they take after having wisdom teeth extracted. This study was motivated by some recent studies that has shown that patients given opioids for dealing with pain after wisdom teeth surgery can go on to abuse opioids, see for example the posts Opioid Prescriptions From Dental Clinicians for Young Adults and Subsequent Opioid Use and Abuse and Persistent Opioid Use After Wisdom Teeth Removal. In the article the authors devised a study to determine how many narcotic and non-narcotic pain relief pills are taken … Read more

The Death Rate Among Patients being Treated by Oral Surgeons in Massachusetts

In the past on this site death surrounding wisdom teeth removal and other dental procedures has been discussed. It has been estimated that the death rate in dentistry occurs in 1 out of every 400,000 cases. Due to a new article in 2019, the mortality rate in dentistry page at has been updated.  This article is written by Wardius et al. titled “Outpatient Anesthesia Morbidity and Mortality Experience Among Massachusetts Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons” and published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 2019. It is worthwhile exploring the details of this article. The article discusses the results of a mailed questionnaire that was sent to active members of the Massachusetts Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons who practiced using the single–operator-anesthetist model in the years 2015 and 2016. A total of 288 oral and maxillofacial surgeons were included … Read more

Using Panoramic X-Rays of Lower Wisdom Teeth to Legally Prove if Someone is Older than 18 Years and 21 Years

According to two 2010 studies it is possible to use a panoramic x-ray of lower wisdom teeth to prove if someone is older than 18 years old and also to prove if someone is older than 21 years old. Recently on this site the issue of forensic age estimation using wisdom teeth was explored. In this article it was shown from several studies by Olze et al. that age estimation based on panoramic x-rays of wisdom teeth exploring tooth emergence must take into account populations representative of whom the person belongs in order to be more reliable. It was also discussed how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the U.S. is using dental x-rays to attempt to determine the age of the migrant. More information on this can be found in the article titled “Here’s how ICE sent children seeking asylum … Read more

Forensic Age Estimation using Wisdom Teeth

Recently there has been a lot of discussion of immigration of migrants into the United States of America. Many times young children who travel to the U.S. are migrants seeking asylum but there age is not known. Different laws apply to those who are adults versus those who are children. In recent cases described in the article titled “Immigration agents X-raying migrants to determine age isn’t just illegal, it’s a misuse of science,” by Elizabeth A. Digangi published June 1, 2018, in MedicalXpress, there have been reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) using dental x-rays to attempt to determine the age of the migrant. The issue at hand is whether or not dental x-rays can provide information regarding the age of a person in regards to looking at wisdom teeth and if it is safe for use. Of course when … Read more