New Study Says Dental Painkillers Could Lead To Opioid Addiction In Youth

The JAMA study looks at the role dental painkiller prescriptions could like in the opioid addiction

Robert Mangino
December 04, 2018 - 6:13 pm

ID 12683852 © Reino Jonsson |

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – A study done by JAMA, the Journal of American Medical Association is shining light on the role dental prescriptions play in the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the country.  

Dr. Paul Moore a professor of pharmacology, dental anesthesiology and dental public health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine tells the KDKA Radio Afternoon News what dentists in the Pittsburgh area are trying to do to combat this problem.

“What we are teaching at the University of Pittsburgh is what would be called opioid sparing strategies and ways of treating dental pain, whether it’s from wisdom teeth or extractions that don’t require the use of an opioid prescription like Vicodin,” said Dr. Moore.  “Studies show that even two Advil or other similar over the counter medications can be just as effective as Vicodin for managing pain.”

Dr. Moore adds that most dentists would prefer to use an alternative for managing pain because they are prescribing these medications to young people, and they are a population of risk takers and some are likely to experiment with drugs.

Opioids are not required to be prescribed after an oral surgery, and many parents ask that their child is not prescribed any to keep from becoming addicted. 

“In Pennsylvania for kids under the age of eighteen we have a requirement to use a written informed consent that gives all the details on how to secure the drugs, how to use the drugs, and how to dispose of them,” said Dr. Moore.  “I think it is most important to get them out of your home as soon as possible so there isn’t a chance of continued recreational use.”

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