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Wisdom Teeth Removal Puts Some Young People at Risk of Opioid Addiction, Study Says

January 17, 2019
by Maria Clark, NOLA.com


Wisdom teeth removal surgery, a fairly common and painful procedure, is also one of the first points of access to prescription opioid medication among adolescents and young adults resulting in a higher risk of opioid addiction in this age group, a new study found.

About 31 percent of patients ages 16 to 25 years old were prescribed opioids by their dentists after having their wisdom teeth removed, according to the study which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine in December.

This procedure is performed on an average of 5 million people in the U.S. each year, according to the study.

For the study researchers looked at the link between the number of opioid prescriptions given to patients ages 16 to 25 years old after getting their wisdom teeth pulled out in 2015 and the rate of opioid abuse and dependence among this patient group a year after their surgery.

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