Because they often treat acute pain with prescription opioids, dentists are at the front line of the opioid crisis, Missouri Dental Board Executive Director Brian Barnett said.
That makes the board's move early this month to adopt a rule to regulate dosage and duration of opioid prescriptions to treat pain a significant step toward combating and overcoming the crisis, according to a news release from board.
Opioids killed more than 42,000 people in the United States in 2016, the American Dental Association reported. Forty percent of the deaths involved prescription pain relievers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is no single solution to the crisis, Barnett said in the news release, as it will take cooperation from multiple entities to curb the epidemic.