Vermont Dental Conference

Program #4 Hurts so...Swell! Management of Acute Dental Pain and Appropriate Opioid Prescribing

Thomas Viola, R. Ph., C.C.P.
Audience Code: D, H, A       3 CEUs/Non-Clinical Lecture

Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Management of acute odontogenic pain is accomplished through a clinical approach that successfully incorporates both opioid and non-opioid analgesics. However, moderate to severe dental pain often occurs well after office hours and away from our immediate supervision.Thus, it is critical for clinicians to be able to accurately identify a patient's need for pain control, develop an individualized pain management plan and assess the efficacy of analgesic agents employed.

This program will provide strategies for effectively managing dental pain with opioid and non-opioid analgesics and analgesic adjuvants, while also mitigating associated risks. Special emphasis will be given to appropriate practices for prescribing analgesics as well as identification and treatment of opioid analgesic abuse.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the pharmacology and mechanism of action of opioid and non-opioid analgesics, as well as their potential for abuse
  • Identify the intended roles of these analgesics in the treatment of acute dental pain, as well as situations which may preclude their use
  • Discuss best practices for prescribing opioid analgesics as part of an individualized patient pain management plan
  • Describe techniques useful in recognizing and identifying potential addiction as well as avoiding potential drug diversion
  • Learn current protocols for the management and treatment of opioid addiction
  • Examine guidelines for proper storage and disposal of unused dosages

*This program meets the dental opioid training criteria credit requirement for VT license renewal.