New Research Being Conducted at Rutgers for Opioid Alternatives Could Lead to Less Potential Drug Abuse for those Having Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Recently this past year many posts appeared on this site discussing opioids being given after wisdom teeth surgery. Such posts include Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Current Perspectives on Opioid Prescribing, Do Oral Surgeons Give Too Many Opioids for Wisdom Teeth Removal?, Important Studies on Opioid Prescribing: Implications for Dentistry, and Studies and Opinions on Opioids After Wisdom Teeth Removal. It is clear that finding viable alternatives to opioids without the same addicting qualities is a worthwhile endeavor. A potential opioid alternative was discussed in the post Long-acting Local Anesthetic After Wisdom Teeth Removal. Recently in September, 2019, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine was awarded an $11.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen to be used as an alternative to opioids [1]. This study will involve 1,800 patients and will … Read more

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

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Current Perspectives on Opioid Prescribing

Recently, both insurance companies and politicians in the U.S. have intensified their efforts to limit patients undergoing wisdom teeth surgery to have access to opioids to manage their pain. See the posts on this site: 1) Insurance Companies Limiting Access to Opioids After Wisdom Teeth Surgery and 2) The Effect of Opioid Prescription Limits For Wisdom Teeth Removal. Such efforts have intensified due to recent research showing that opioid prescriptions taken by young adults following wisdom teeth removal has contributed to the opioid addiction and abuse epidemic in the U.S. However, lost in these conversations is the perspectives from oral and maxillofacial surgeons. According to the 2017 white paper by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) titled “Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management,” these surgeons feel: “… the practitioner-patient relationship must be upheld, allowing for practitioner … Read more

The Effect of Opioid Prescription Limits For Wisdom Teeth Removal

Recently it has been discussed how insurance companies have begun to limit prescriptions for opioids for teenagers due to recent studies suggesting that many young adults may later become addicted to opioids as a result of wisdom teeth removal, see Insurance Companies Limiting Access to Opioids After Wisdom Teeth Surgery. In addition to insurance companies taking action, some politicians in the U.S. have proposed legislation to limit opioid prescriptions for seven days. On March 15 2019, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (a Democrat from New York) and Cory Gardner (a Republican from Colorado) announced the John S. McCain Opioid Addiction and Prevention Act which would limit the supply of initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain to seven days. This bill would would create a seven-day prescription limit for opioids so that no more than a seven-day supply may be prescribed to … Read more