Registering with the DEA and Prescribing Controlled Substances

Guidelines for Practice Success | Managing Regulatory | Drug Enforcement Agency

Any dentist who prescribes controlled substances in Schedules II, III, IV, or V must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) every three years. At the time this content was developed (2016), the cost of a three-year DEA registration was $731.

DEA regulations cover:

  • prescribing a controlled substance to be filled at a pharmacy
  • giving a patient a controlled substance to take later
  • giving a patient a controlled substance in the office, to swallow or through injection

See the ADA FAQ on Registering with the DEA, the ADA Do’s and Don’ts for Prescribing Controlled Substances, the ADA Tip Sheet for e-Prescribing Controlled Substances, and the ADA Tip Sheet on the Safety and Inventory Control of Controlled Substances for information on topics including:

  • why dentists register with the DEA
  • whether dentists can opt to only write prescriptions for drugs that don’t require a DEA number and refer patients needing prescriptions for controlled substances to another healthcare provider
  • how the DEA determines the cost to register
  • how the agency spends the monies collected via registration fees
  • whom to contact with questions about the DEA registration fees
  • tips for writing prescriptions • how e-prescribing protects your patients – and you
  • recommendations on storing and maintaining proper inventory controls

Complete information is available in the DEA Practitioner’s Manual: An Informational Outline of the Controlled Substances Act.