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FDA awards $1.5M grant to ADA Science & Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh to develop pain management guideline

Project will focus on further defining role of opioids in dentistry

August 28, 2020

By Mary Beth Versaci

ADA Science & Research Institute logo 
The American Dental Association Science & Research Institute, together with the University of Pittsburgh, has received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Food and Drug Administration to develop, disseminate, implement and evaluate a national clinical practice guideline for the management of acute pain in dentistry.

The project will focus on further defining the role of opioids in dentistry, including the drugs' indications and contraindications across all dental specialties. The specialties will serve as key stakeholder groups during the guideline development process.

Dr. Alonso Carrasco-Labra, Ph.D., senior director of the ADASRI's department of Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, and Deborah Polk, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, will serve as co-principal investigators of the project, which will improve clinician and patient access to the evidence and recommendations needed to make acute pain management decisions.

"As a part of the recently founded ADA Science & Research Institute, I believe that this project reflects the strong commitment of the ADASRI to conduct research on topics of great importance for the public and the dental profession," Dr. Carrasco-Labra said. "Getting this award is another effort in alignment with the strong response of the ADA to ensure the optimal management of acute pain in dentistry, including the use of opioid medications."

This is the department of Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research’s first grant since the ADASRI launched Jan. 1. The grant joins three others awarded this year to the department of Innovation & Technology Research from the National Institutes of Health.

The ADA adopted a policy on opioids in 2018 that supports prescription limits and mandatory continuing education for dentists and builds on an earlier policy recommending that dentists consider nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics as the first-line therapy for acute pain. For more information on how the ADA is working to combat opioid abuse, visit ADA.org/opioids.