UnitedHealthcare Dental puts opioid prescription limit on providers: 3 details

Dentists

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Taking a more active role in combating the opioid epidemic, UnitedHealthcare Dental is rolling out new prescription guidelines for its providers, according to Public News Service.

Three details:

1. Currently, dentists and oral surgeons prescribe 12 percent of all opioid prescriptions. Many of the prescriptions are written for adolescents following wisdom teeth extractions.

2. UnitedHealthcare Dental's new policy follows the CDC's recommendation that health professionals' prescriptions be limited to three days for people ages 19 and younger.

3. Of the prescriptions dental patients receive, typically half go unused. "Instead of Vicodin or Percocet, which are typical opioids that are prescribed, recent studies have shown that a combination of Tylenol with Motrin are as effective if not more effective as opioids for dental pain, and you don't have the risk of the opioid addiction," UnitedHealthcare Dental Chief Dental Officer Ted Wong, DDS, told Public News Services.

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