The University of Michigan conducted a study shedding light on the potential risks associated with opioid prescriptions following wisdom tooth extraction among young individuals aged 13 to 30. Their research revealed that those who filled opioid prescriptions around the time of their wisdom tooth removal were nearly 2.7 times more likely to continue filling opioid prescriptions weeks or months later compared to their counterparts. Teens and young adults, especially those with a history of mental health issues or chronic pain conditions, were identified as having a higher likelihood of prolonged opioid use after the initial prescription. Although the percentage of patients continuing opioid use might seem small, the sheer number of wisdom teeth procedures performed annually poses a significant risk, urging a reconsideration of opioid prescriptions by dentists and oral surgeons. The study highlighted the need for increased consideration of nonopioid painkillers and suggested minimizing opioid prescriptions following wisdom tooth extraction to combat potential long-term opioid use among young people. The researchers emphasized the importance of discussing pain management alternatives with patients, considering opioids only for breakthrough pain, and the need to address decision points around opioid prescription, storage, and disposal with patients and parents. This groundbreaking study provides valuable insights that encourage reevaluation of opioid prescribing practices, particularly after dental procedures, aiming to mitigate the risks of prolonged opioid use among young adults and teens.
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Categories: Opiate Compliance