The Georgia Dental Association, alongside the American Dental Association, is combating the nation’s opioid epidemic by laying out new policies, rules and guidelines for dentists across the country to stop the over-prescribing of opioids.
In what is believed to be the first of its kind among major healthcare professional organizations, the American Dental Association announced a new policy on opioids supporting mandates on prescription limits and continuing education. Georgia Dental Association endorses these efforts and is proud to continue its work as a leader at the state level in this endeavor.
"It's a positive step in the right direction," says Georgia Dental Association President, Dr. Robin Reich. "Dentists currently account for 6.4 percent of opioid prescriptions, and we are committed to reducing that percentage further."
Georgia is at the forefront of the fight against opioid abuse and addiction. American Dental Association’s national implications are far reaching and will further enhance legislation recently enacted by the Georgia General Assembly to battle this issue.
Georgia’s New Policy/Law
American Dental Association
The Georgia Dental Association worked in collaboration with the Georgia Board of Dentistry to create a rule requiring mandatory opioid prescribing education as a component of licensure renewal in Georgia, pending the Governor's approval.
Supports mandatory continuing education for dentists in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances.
Georgia Law mandates that prescribers shall be required to check Georgia's Prescription Drug Monitoring Database when prescribing opioids or benzos subject to certain exceptions.
Supports statutory limits on opioid dosage and duration of no more than seven days for the treatment of acute pain.
Georgia Law mandates that as of January 1, 2018, every prescriber with a DEA number shall enroll in Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
Supports dentists registering with and utilizing Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs to promote the appropriate use of opioids and deter misuse and abuse.
"The Georgia Dental Association and its member dentists are committed to doing their part to eliminate the opioid crisis in Georgia," says Georgia Dental Association Executive Director, Frank J. Capaldo. "These new policies and laws will help dentists assess patients' needs on a case by case basis and only prescribe opioids when the drugs are absolutely needed to reduce pain.”
As part of this policy, dentists will consider prescribing anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen, as alternatives to opioids. Some studies suggest these medications are just as effective as stronger painkillers. They found, that for adults, a combination of 400 mg of ibuprofen plus 1000 mg of acetaminophen was superior to any opioid-containing medications studied.
About the Georgia Dental Association
The Georgia Dental Association is the state’s largest dental association, representing more than 3,400 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information in Georgia, the Association has promoted the highest standards of dentistry through education, advocacy and professionalism since 1859. A constituent of the American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association is based in Atlanta.