Colorado dentists curb opioid prescriptions: 5 things to know

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Curtis Hayes, DDS, of Coal Creek Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center in Lafayette, Colo., and other dentists are offering patients local anesthetic to reduce the rate of opioid prescriptions in the state, according to Colorado Public Radio.

Here are five things to know:

1. Many teens and young adults get their first exposure to opioids during wisdom teeth removal. However, by using local anesthetic Exparel Dr. Hayes removes wisdom teeth without using any narcotics for pain.

2. Exparel, a local anesthetic, is injected into a patient's gum area and causes gums to stay numb and pain free for two to three days.

3. Dr. Hayes has studied the development of Exparel. He first recommended it to patients who had abused narcotics in the past; however, Dr. Hayes now recommends the local anesthetic to all patients.

4. The Colorado Dental Association is holding education seminars and developing best practices to re-examine medical providers' role in the opioid crisis.

5. Dr. Hayes notes that with local anesthetic patients are not left with excess pills. He said brining awareness to medical providers and patients is crucial to curbing the opioid crisis.

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