Statement on Provision of Dental Treatment for Patients with Substance Use Disorders
- Dentists are urged to be aware of each patient's substance use history, and to take this into consideration when planning treatment and prescribing medications.
- Dentists are encouraged to be knowledgeable about substance use disorders—both active and in remission—in order to safely prescribe controlled substances and other medications to patients with these disorders.
- Dentists should draw upon their professional judgment in advising patients who are heavy drinkers to cut back, or the users of illegal drugs to stop.
- Dentists may want to be familiar with their community's treatment resources for patients with substance use disorders and be able to make referrals when indicated.
- Dentists are encouraged to seek consultation with the patient's physician, when the patient has a history of alcoholism or other substance use disorder.
- Dentists are urged to be current in their knowledge of pharmacology, including content related to drugs of abuse; recognition of contraindications to the delivery of epinephrine-containing local
anesthetics; safe prescribing practices for patients with substance use disorders—both active and in remission—and management of patient emergencies that may result from unforeseen drug
- Dentists are obliged to protect patient confidentiality of substances abuse treatment information, in accordance with applicable state and federal law.
Adopted October 2005
Interested in a practice resources on substance use disorders? Visit the ADA Store to purchase the ADA Practical Guide to Substance Use Disorders and Safe Prescribing