DDS Opioid Hub

Opioid Use in Dental & Oral Surgery


Surgical procedures, including third molar extractions are common procedures in which opioid-naïve patients, especially adolescents, are first exposed to opioids.

While dentists and oral surgeons strive to compassionately manage patients’ pain, they must do so responsibly to curtail long-term use and misuse, as well as minimize potential diversion from large amounts of leftover prescription opioids. This is especially important among adolescents who are at heightened risk of future opioid misuse.

Many oral and maxillofacial surgery training programs are revising their acute postoperative prescribing protocols to decrease the number of opioids prescribed and promote use of non-opioid alternatives for pain management. Education for providers is essential to changing pain management protocols and mitigating risk of opioid misuse. Education, coupled with open communication with patients to set appropriate expectations and treatment goals, presents an opportunity to optimize clinical outcomes and improve patient satisfaction.

Additional Opioid Resources by Practice:

Nursing | Pharmacy | Main Opioid Hub

Educational Activities

Launch Date

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Principles of Communication and Recognizing Patient Needs

The conclusion of this 3-part series features expert faculty focusing on a collaborative patient-centered approach in order to guide optimal pain management, which includes applying an evidence-based approach to chronic pain management and improving prescribing practices through pharmacovigilance.


Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: New Approaches to Safe and Effective Pain Management

In part 2 of this 3-part series, expert faculty focus on the four-step approach that follows the SOAP (Subjective-Objective-Assessment-Plan) approach to pain management, as well as principles of communication with patients experiencing pain in order to help clinicians appropriately prescribe the best therapy for pain management in each patient.


Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Reducing the Burden of Pain in a Changing Landscape

This 3-part online series reflects the insights and guidance from experts in pain medicine, primary care, addiction, orthopedic surgery, oral surgery, the physician assistant community, and the DEA Educational Foundation. Part 1 is focused on the pain landscape, including the different types of pain and pain pathways, the 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, non-pharmacologic options for managing pain, and tools for evaluating addiction risk. The goal is to provide best practice strategies for clinicians who encounter and manage patients with acute and chronic pain.


Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: A Call to Action to Save Our Communities

To better understand pain pathways, Augmented Reality will transport learners into an interactive illustration of the brain/body reaction to pain and factors that influence pain perception. Join Dr. Gold and Dr. Stanos in an interactive discussion of pain management strategies to optimize safe and responsible management of acute and chronic pain.


Time to Listen: What the Experts Have to Say About Safe Opioid Prescribing and Addiction Treatment

Join a panel of faculty experts as they discuss pain management challenges, consequences, and educational development opportunities amid rising concerns of addiction and diversion.


Shifting Perspectives on Pain Management in Oral Surgery

In this free CME Snack, Dr. Gold and Dr. Abubaker share insights on alternative pain management strategies for oral pain with a focus on finding a balance between compassion for patient care and patient safety.