Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

US Dentists Prescribe More Opioids than UK Dentists

A new study has found US dentists are more likely to prescribe opioids than their British counterparts. According to researchers, American dentists wrote 37 times as many opioid prescriptions as British dentists in 2016—1.4 million vs 28,000.

A new study has found US dentists are more likely to prescribe opioids than their British counterparts. According to researchers, American dentists wrote 37 times as many opioid prescriptions as British dentists in 2016—1.4 million vs 28,000.

The joint study of the University of Illinois at Chicago colleges of Pharmacy and Dentistry and University of Sheffield hones in on how prescribing patterns differ between dentists in the two countries. The findings suggest that measures to reduce opioid prescribing by dentists should be addressed by policymakers and health professional associations—as well as clinicians themselves.

Investigators analyzed 2016 nationally representative databases from both countries of prescriptions dispensed from retail pharmacies, which included community and mail service pharmacies, as well as clinic pharmacies. In addition to the huge discrepancy in prescribing patterns, the study also shows US dentists prescribe a wider range of opioids, whereas dentists in England only prescribed the codeine derivative, dihydrocodeine. This is the only one included in the formulary used by the country’s National Health Service. The most commonly prescribed opioids in the US were hydrocodone-based, followed by codeine, oxycodone and tramadol. The study findings are reported in JAMA Network Open.

Hygiene Connection
June 2019

1 Comment
  1. Avatar
    Melinda Ferguson-Robertson says

    any idea how Canadians dentists compare?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.