Later this month is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and at Nashua Dental Group it means the perfect time to bring attention to an under-examined issue in dentistry. One aspect of dentistry that’s not often considered is the risk of opioid dependence after dental surgeries such as gum grafts for dental implants or wisdom tooth removal. This concern of dependence on opioids after dental treatment is especially salient in Nashua since New Hampshire is second only to West Virginia in terms of death rate from opioid overdose.
A few steps can be taken by dentists and dental patients to stem this tide of opioids in Nashua.
- Dentists can reduce the prescription dosage of the pain relievers they offer and prescribe them for shorter periods of time.
- Dentists can stop prescribing opioids after dental treatments and recommend analgesics like ibuprofen instead, unless dental patients still complain about pain. This is especially true when treating dental issues in teens, who are at higher risk for opioid abuse.
- If your dentist did prescribe you opioids, you can use your best judgment if you need to take them or if you’re fine taking ibuprofen instead. If you discontinue the use of the opioid pain relievers after your dental treatment, make sure that you do NOT stop taking your antibiotics and finish the whole course as prescribed.
- If you didn’t take the entire course of pain relievers that the dentists prescribed, make sure to dispose of the drugs properly. The Nashua Police Department has a disposal box in their lobby at 0 Panther Drive, Nashua, NH 03062. Additionally, April 27th 2019 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and on that day you’ll be able to drop off your opioid pain relievers at CVS and Walgreens on Main Street.
- NEVER share your prescription medication and pain relievers with anyone else.
At Nashua Dental Group we know we are uniquely positioned at helping stop over-prescription of opioids and we’re glad we are able to provide this knowledge so that you can do your part in the Nashua community as well.