The Day Article

February 19, 2016
 
Prescription opioids are harder to get, more closely monitored
 
By Judy Benson 
Day staff write

"... Greater awareness has reached virtually all sectors of the medical community, including dentists, said Dr. William MacDonnell, dentist, anesthesiologist and past president of the Connecticut State Dental Association.
 
Now, he said, dental practices that once automatically gave prescriptions for narcotic pain pills for a toothache or after dental surgery follow a different routine. 
 
That may include longer acting anesthetics in addition to prescription-strength versions of Advil and Tylenol.
 
“The new gold standard for treating moderate-to-severe pain is to give 400 to 600 mg of ibuprofen every six hours, alternating with acetaminophen every six hours,” said MacDonnell, who also teaches at the University of Connecticut Dental School. “We’re trying to get away from prescribing narcotics as the first line of defense. Half or more or our patients don’t really need narcotics."