The DMD Check-Up: The Best Drugs for Dental Pain

February 6, 2017
Greg Kelly

“Forget about Vicodin, Percocet, and other potentially dangerous, addictive opioids. Over-the-counter painkillers may work better,” according to this report from the nation’s leading consumer protection group.

This week's list of must-read news stories for dentists includes:

Best Drugs for Dental Pain (Consumer Reports)

“Forget about Vicodin, Percocet, and other potentially dangerous, addictive opioids. Over-the-counter painkillers may work better,” according to this report from the nation’s leading consumer protection group. “We, as dentists, have to recognize that our overprescribing contributes to the prescription opioid abuse epidemic,” explains Elliot Hersh, DMD, PhD.

RELATED: More Coverage on Opioids in Dentistry

· Dentist Sentenced for Prescribing Pain Meds to Employee, Then Using Them Himself

· Yankee Dental Speakers Arm Dentists in Fight Against Opioid Abuse

· New Policy on Opioids Adopted by ADA

Tooth Loss Can Determine Life Span (The Sun)

New “research published in Periodontology 2000 showed that people who had lost five or more teeth by the age of 65 were also more likely to suffer from other serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, which could severely limit a person’s life expectancy.”

Aspiring French Dentist Wins Miss Universe (Reuters)

“A dental student from Paris was crowned Miss Universe on Monday, becoming the second Frenchwoman to win the title in the pageant's history and the first champion from Europe in more than a decade.” Iris Mittenaere says her goal is to “advocate for dental and oral hygiene.”

How a Tooth Infection Killed a Young Man (Lifezette)

Vadim Kondratyuk was a 26-year-old truck driver from Utah with a wife and two young daughters.

“Questions remain about the case. His infection could have been resistant to antibiotics — but it may also have been due to incomplete dental care. In a case such as this, perhaps a failure to achieve source control by removing the tooth and cleaning the infection site was to blame,” an expert said.

Q&A with Chicago Dental Society President (Daily Herald)

Here’s a catchy profile of Phillip Fijal, DDS, the leader of the 4,500-member Chicago Dental Society. His advice to dentists: “Take time to build the trust of your patients. I think all dentists are in the profession to help people improve, and then maintain good oral and overall health, which can take some time for patients to understand.”

Bridging the Gap Between Medical and Dental Care (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“Private insurers may lead in developing systems that integrate treatment between medical and dental care,” according to this news report from Pennsylvania. “There is no rational reason why they should be separate,” said dentist Robert J. Weyant, who chairs the Department of Dental Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dentist Sues Over Bad Online Review (The Sydney Morning Herald)

From Australia, “a prominent Melbourne dentist has taken defamation action against a patient who posted a scathing online review after claiming he was quoted $1.200 for a filling that would take only 45 minutes.” With more than 65,000 patients, Dr. Kia Pajouhesh's dental empire earns “$20 million a year.”

Blue Ribbon Panel Issues Dental Sedation Report (Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform)

“In August of last year, the Sunset Advisory Commission requested a review by a blue ribbon panel of dental experts into dental anesthesia-related deaths in Texas as part of its review process of the State Board of Dental Examiners. On January 4, that report was released and is available online.”