Opioids: Is your Dental Plan Doing Enough? 

A bright toothy smile and eye contact from a pretty young woman proud to show off her perfect teeth while sitting in a dentist's chair.
Sep 20 2018

Did you know that dentists are proportionately the biggest prescribers of opioids for adolescents? In her latest blog post, Dr. Mary Kay O’Neil outlines ways employers can make a positive impact on today’s opioid epidemic. In addition to working with health plans and pharmacy benefit managers to curb overprescribing, she recommends employers also work with their dental carriers.

Percentage of Prescriptions Dispensed for Opioid Analgesics from Outpatient US Retail Pharmacies by Age and Physician Specialty, 2009

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3187622/

Ask your dental carrier what they are doing to help combat the opioid epidemic. Have they implemented prescribing guidelines like those established by the Bree Collaborative? Ask if they are receiving pharmacy data, analyzing the data, and then doing educational or other interventions with their dental providers regarding this issue. A few simple questions could mean the difference between preventing an opioid addiction or having to treat it.

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