The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (2015) contains only a cursory mention about the particulars of managing acute pain. In fact, the document expressly states:
"Some of the recommendations might be relevant for acute care settings or other specialists, such as emergency physicians or dentists, but use in these settings or by other specialists is not the focus of this guideline."
Until the CDC publishes a guideline for prescribing opioids for acute pain, the ADA recommends that dentists review and follow the relevant portions of the CDC chronic pain guideline, subject to state law.
"Long-term opioid use often begins with treatment of acute pain. When opioids are used for acute pain, clinicians should prescribe the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioids and should prescribe no greater quantity than needed for the expected duration of pain severe enough to require opioids. Three days or less will often be sufficient; more than seven days will rarely be needed."
The CDC guideline should not be construed as a standard of care and is not intended to replace state laws and/or the independent judgment of the dental practitioner. The field of pain management is ever evolving and dentists are encouraged to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field.
Additional information is available at CDC.gov.