New York Dental clinic cuts opioid prescriptions by 80%

Dentists

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Touro Dental Health, an 81-chair clinic, plans to slash opioid prescriptions by 80 percent, according to The Journal News.

The Hawhorne, N.Y.-based dental clinic will allow opioid prescriptions under certain circumstances, including allergies to alternate treatments, failed attempts to control pain with non-narcotic medication and a major oral surgery.

Touro Dental Health's decision to reduce opioid prescriptions follows the release of a UnitedHealthcare study that found teenage patients are becoming addicted to opioids after having their wisdom teeth removed.

Traditionally, dentists prescribe patients at least six days worth of opioids following wisdom teeth removal. For patients ages 16 to 22, 70 percent were given at least one opioid prescription.

UnitedHealthcare found that of the patients give opioids, 7 percent went on to get another opioid prescription. There was also a 5.4 percent increase in future opioid use disorders.

To access the complete report, click here.

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