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JADA collection on opioids: What dentists should know

March 05, 2019

Why do dentists prescribe Vicodin? What can prescription monitoring program data say about the prescription of controlled substances? What is the role of the oral health community in addressing the opioid crisis?

These questions and other topics are among the selected key opioid-related articles available in The Journal of the American Dental Association's March 2019 reprint collection.

The collection's goal: Give dentists the information they should know about opioids in dentistry and the oral health community's effort to address the opioid crisis in the U.S.

The reprint collection includes:

  • "The Role of the Oral Health Community in Addressing the Opioid Overdose Epidemic" by Dr. Martha J. Somerman, Ph.D., and Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
  • "Just What the Doctor Ordered: Relieving Dental Pain" a JADA For The Patient page from the ADA Science Institute.
  • "The Prescription Monitoring Program Data: What It Can Tell You" by Dr. David A. Keith; Thomas Shannon, Massachusetts Department of Public Health law enforcement consultant; and Ronald Kulich, Ph.D.
  • "Why Do We Prescribe Vicodin?" by Drs. Paul A. Moore, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Raymond A. Dionne, Ph.D.; Stephen A. Cooper, Ph.D.; and Elliot V. Hersh, M.S., Ph.D.
  • "Dental Opioid Prescribing and Multiple Opioid Prescriptions Among Dental Patients: Administrative Data From the South Carolina Prescription Drug Monitoring Program" by Jenna L. McCauley, Ph.D.; J. Madison Hyer, M.S.; V. Ramesh Ramakrishnan, Ph.D.; Dr. Renata Leite, M.S.; Cathy L. Melvin, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Roger B. Fillingim, Ph.D.; Christie Frick, RPh; Kathleen T. Brady, M.D., Ph.D.

Since 2012, the ADA has been offering resources to help dentists safely and effectively manage acute pain with minimal use of opioids. In 2018, the ADA announced an updated policy on opioids, becoming one of the first major health professional organizations to support mandatory continuing education for opioid prescribers with an emphasis on preventing drug overdose, chemical dependency and drug diversion.    

To read the reprint issue, visit For more information on other opioid-related resources, visit