Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Safe Opioid Prescribing for Dentists--an Often-Overlooked Workforce in Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Pain Management Strategies

Research indicates that opioid prescriptions for dental procedures can contribute significantly to substance use disorders. According to the CDC, oral health issues “may affect patients of all ages and notably may lead to the first encounter with opioids for adolescent and young adult populations. Dentists have historically represented the largest source of opioid prescriptions for this young age group, often for third molar extractions, and persistent opioid use following an initial prescription from a dental clinician has been identified in this age cohort.”

Dentists are an often overlooked workforce in substance use disorder (SUD) prevention and pain management strategies. A new collaboration between the CDPHE’s Overdose Prevention Unit, University of Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, and CDPHE’s Oral Health Unit is providing resources for dentists and public health partners to expand SUD prevention and effective pain management strategies. The team recently conducted a Safe Opioid Prescribing for Dental Providers Academic Detailing webinar. The webinar is presented by Dr. Don Teater, a pain management expert and experienced academic detailer/trainer. Dr. Teater provides pain management strategies for dental clinicians to prevent and manage substance use disorders. The webinar includes behavioral health and pain management strategies to avoid providing potentially addictive opioid prescriptions.

Dr. Teater is available to dental officers to provide a FREE, 15-minute academic detailing/training session for effective pain management and help support patients who may have a substance use disorder. To sign up for a free session, please use this link. For more information, please contact:

The on-demand webinar plus one academic detailing session with Dr. Teater can provide dentists with half of the DORA-required SUD Prevention educational hours mandated by Senate Bill 19-228. Please note, the on-demand webinar and detailing session do not provide dental continuing education credit.

Please distribute this information to your networks and consider including this project in your SUD prevention and pain management strategies. For any questions, please contact


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