The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) has published a new brochure on pain management and the dangers of opioid use, providing information to patients about alternatives to opioids as well as advice on storing and using opioids safely.
The brochure notes that many over the counter medications have been proven effective in treating pain. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, Tylenol, and topical anesthetics are commonly recommended as the first treatment option after any dental procedure.
The abuse, misuse, and diversion of opioid medications have reached epidemic proportions in Minnesota and across the United States, the MDA reports, adding that prescription opioid medications are no longer considered a safe, low-risk option for relief of moderate to severe acute pain.
“As dentists, we have a responsibility to be proactive in preventing opioid addiction,” said MDA president David Andersen, DDS. “I am proud that the MDA is supporting both dentists and the public when it comes to this issue.”
The brochure’s release follows the 2017 revised MDA Protocol for the Assessment and Non-Opioid Management of Oral and Facial Pain, which provides alternatives to opioid use and supports the ongoing education of dental providers in managing oral and facial pain in a dental clinic setting.
While the underlying cause of pain cannot be diagnosed and treated in some medical conditions, dentists can use pain indicators, symptoms, and diagnostic methods to effectively diagnose and treat the underlying causes of oral and facial pain, the MDA says, often obtaining relief without the use of prescription opioids or other narcotics.