Utah dentists decreasing opioid prescriptions

Dec 18, 2018, 1:19 PM
cracked teeth COVID-19...
Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — A new study says many teens get their first exposure to narcotics after wisdom teeth surgery, raising concerns that early exposure could lead to opioid abuse down the road.

Nearly 7 percent of teens and young adults who got an opioid at the dentist’s office went on to take more of the drugs, the study found. But Dr. Val Radmall with the Utah Dental Association says they’ve been suggesting a combination of Tylenol and Ibuprofen instead for a while now.

“It’s kind of a push we’ve had for the past few years. And as we have this opioid crisis, it’s something we want to push further — to look for alternatives that are non-narcotic in base,” Radmall said.

Radmall says when they do give a prescription for opioids, it’s for acute, short-term pain, with far fewer pills than has traditionally been prescribed.

Radmall says even before the dental community began recommending a change to the way dentists prescribe medications, he noticed patients recovered better if they were not on narcotics.

“I’ve had more patients actually get sick on the medication,” he says, “whereas when you go with the ibuprofen/acetaminophen combination, it’s easier on them and still takes care of their pain.”

Radmall says in 1998, dentist were the top specialty prescribers of opioid pain relievers, giving out 15.5 percent of all prescriptions. He says it’s now down to 6 percent and dropping.

“I do think that dentists have recognized there’s an opioid crisis, and we are self-regulating, decreasing the amount, and looking for alternatives,” he says.


Today’s Top Stories


Utah Republicans are looking to ban transgender surgeries and other hormone-based care....
Mark Jones

Utah to receive additional $4.9 million from FEMA in response to COVID-19

FEMA has announced Utah will receive an additional $4.9 million to help with the housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 day ago
BYU tracking...
Simone Seikaly

BYU researchers learn importance of tracking, in fitness and other goals

BYU researchers found that tracking an activity helps to increase (or decrease) that activity.
3 days ago
Adam Small

National health panel recommends anxiety screenings for adults under 65

Anxiety screenings were recommended for adults 19 to 64 by the task force to help combat the under-detection of anxiety disorders.
4 days ago
The little league player that was critically injured after falling off a  bunk bed is now fighting ...
Randall Jeppesen and Mark Jones

Easton Oliverson family files lawsuit against LLBB and bunk bed makers

A lawsuit has been filed by the family of Easton Oliverson against Little League Baseball and the makers of the bunk beds he fell off and injured his head just prior to the Little League World Series.
5 days ago
University of Utah Health...
Lindsay Aerts

U of U Health says contraception need higher for both women and men in the wake of Roe decision

University of Utah Heath says demand for birth control is up and they have a new clinic hoping to get women faster access.
5 days ago
Utah school sports...
Chandler Holt

Two studies sum up Utah’s professional athletic abilities

Just how athletic is Utah? How many pro-athletes are from the Beehive state? Two recent studies shed light on these questions..
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Utah dentists decreasing opioid prescriptions