Join ADAMember Log In




Opioids and pain management top ADA webinar

Medications like Vicodin, Lorcet and Percocet can be helpful to those in pain but disparaging to those who become addicted.

It’s a constant seesaw for dentists, who need to be adept at pain management for their patients but also aware of those who are at high risk for substance abuse. The dentist must also be ready to intervene with drug users, counsel patients about side effects and addictive nature, and understand the proper storage and disposal of prescription drug medications.

Image: Dr. Sammon
Dr. Sammon

A webinar hosted by the American Dental Association titled “Opioid Analgesia in Your Dental Practice: Assessing Risks and Effective Pain Management” is scheduled for May 17 to discuss these topics. The ADA received a sub-award from the American Academy of Addictive Psychiatry from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, which received a three-year grant to create webinars and training on treating pain and opioid addiction.

Over the next three years, the ADA will receive a sub-award of $33,000 per year. The center is paying for the Prescriber’s Clinical Support System for the Appropriate Use of Opioids in the Treatment of Pain and Opioid-related Addiction, which is a collaborative effort among a handful of medical associations that will provide training and education on the topic.

Dr. John E. Lindroth and Patrick J. Sammon, Ph.D., who are both professors in the Department of Oral Health Practice at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, will be the instructors. Dr. Lindroth is the director of the college’s urgent care clinic and is a part-time faculty member in the Orofacial Pain Center. Dr. Sammon is a consultant for the Kentucky Dental Association’s Well Being Committee and an instructor for the Federal Law Enforcement and Counter Drug Task Force training programs.

Image: Dr. Lindroth
Dr. Lindroth

They will help participants understand how drug abuse can lead to addiction and drug-seeking behavior; recognize clinical problems associated with opiate painkillers and over-the-counter drugs; identify signs, symptoms and behavioral problems associated with the abuse of prescription drugs; and learn how prescription monitoring tracking programs prevent diversion of prescription drugs. Dentists will also hear how to spot drug-seekers; refer drug-abusing patients for assessment and/or treatment; understand pain processing mechanisms to apply evidence-based pain management strategies; and how to manage post-operative pain in the face of addiction.

This program advances the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s recommendations in “Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Crisis.”

To register, contact Alison Siwek, manager of dentist health and wellness at the ADA, at siweka@ada.org.