Opioid webinar presents ways to implement controlled substance risk assessment into practices

Dr. Kulich

The ADA will present a free webinar July 21 that will cover evidence-based strategies for incorporating controlled substance risk assessment into dental practices.

Integrating Controlled Substance Risk Assessment and Management into Dental Practice will stream from noon-1 p.m. Central time.

Ronald J. Kulich, Ph.D., who develops and manages opioid risk assessment protocols for the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Pain Medicine and the Department of Diagnostic Science at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, will host the controlled substance-focused webinar.

“While dentists may be writing fewer opioid [prescriptions] in their practices as they increasingly recognize the effectiveness of alternatives such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, few providers take the added step of assessing, managing, and referring the at-risk patient,” Dr. Kulich said.

Dr. Kulich said that unique barriers to conducting a risk assessment in dentistry — including e-records that fail to integrate with those of their medical colleagues, no validated dental-practice screeners, and discomfort associated with addressing sensitive subject matter —  can be overcome with the development of more interprofessional practice settings, improved training and better strategies to incentivize the dentist to conduct these assessments.

“Prescription drug monitoring programs provide another added critical assessment, not only as a strategy for simply identifying the at-risk individual, but an opportunity to have a patient-clinician conversation that can have a significant impact on the patient’s overall dental, physical and mental health.”

Attendees may earn one hour of continuing education credit.

The ADA Practice Institute will be hosting another two webinars soon on similar topics.

Dentists can visit the ADA’s Preventing Opioid Abuse page to find practical guides for safe prescribing, free online CE, and other tools and information for managing dental pain, especially for patients who are at risk for drug overdose or addiction.

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