A Veritable Quandary?

One of the most common questions we hear from licensed dental healthcare professionals when considering the prospect of dropping their federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) permit is “Can I do that?”

The answer is “Yes you can”.

Your professional license issued by the state in which you practice affords the ability to conduct patient care within the parameters set by law. This includes the ability to prescribe medications within the scope of those parameters including controlled substances – except for the requirement if you wish to prescribe same, you must obtain a federal permit from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to do so. Occasionally states may also require you obtain a state permit, but it is solely dependent on those states alone.

There may be matters of practicality. You are never under any mandate to prescribe controlled substances although certain privileges – such as the ability to administer sedation or anesthesia – will require the ability to procure anesthetic agents which are themselves controlled substances making the possession of a permit a necessity.

So, to reiterate: you are NEVER under any mandate, any requirement whatsoever to possess a federal DEA permit unless the scope of your practice requires itself. Beyond that, it is a choice.

We teach this in our state mandated safe opiate prescribing courses for dentists. In many ways, this is a benefit of practicing dentistry – even more so – it obviates the requirement for this continuing education not to mention the cost of the DEA permit. Check out our course offerings to find out more.

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