Dentist group puts teeth in push to curb opioid painkillers

March 26, 2018 by Lindsey Tanner
Dentist group puts teeth in push to curb opioid painkillers
This Aug. 15, 2017 file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. American Dental Association on Monday, March 26, 2018, said it is pressing for seven-day prescription limits and mandatory education that encourages using other painkillers. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

The American Dental Association wants dentists to drastically cut back on prescribing opioid painkillers.

The group on Monday said it is pressing for limiting prescriptions to a week and mandatory education for dentists that encourages using other painkillers that are not addictive.

Dentists write fewer than 7 percent of opioid prescriptions in the U.S. But new research shows that practice has increased in recent years, despite evidence that ibuprofen and acetaminophen work just as well for most dental pain and are less risky.

Dentists are the leading prescribers of opioids for teens. Opioids are usually prescribed for short-term pain after procedures including removal of wisdom teeth and other .

Explore further: How to avoid opioid addiction after surgery

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