February 7, 2022
by Emily Mullin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opioids have routinely been prescribed to adults and children for dental procedures for decades, and dentists are among the top prescribers of the drugs after family physicians, responsible for an estimated 1 in 10 opioids in the United States.
But prescriptions for the powerful narcotics have fallen in recent years, as the opioid crisis has underscored the need to be more judicious when prescribing the drugs. Dentists are increasingly turning to alternatives to manage pain — and patients don’t seem to mind.
“I found through my own experience treating patients at Children’s Hospital that we could take a non-opioid approach for pretty significant surgeries and patients have a more than adequate experience,” said Dr. Bernard Costello, dean of Pitt’s School of Dental Medicine.