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Persistent Opioid Use after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Harbaugh CM, Nalliah RP, Hu HM, Englesbe MJ, Waljee JF, Brummett CM. Persistent Opioid Use After Wisdom Tooth Extraction. JAMA. 2018;320(5):504-506. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9023

  • Approximately 80% of patients who were not using opioids before wisdom tooth extraction filled an opioid prescription at the time of surgery.
  • Opioid prescriptions at the time of wisdom tooth extraction lead to a 3-fold increased odds of developing persistent opioid use in the year after surgery among adolescents and young adults.
  • Given the effectiveness of non-opioid analgesics, the practice of any routine opioid prescribing must be questioned in the face of the potential morbidity and long-term consequences of opioid use.

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