Missouri restricts dentists’ prescriptions of opioids

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new Missouri law limits the amount and types of opioid pain medications dentists can prescribe.

The bill, signed earlier this month, tells dentists to restrict opioid prescriptions to no more than the equivalent of 10 regular Vicodin pills per day and says they shouldn’t prescribe extended-release opioids such as OxyContin.

The American Dental Association says dentists prescribed 6.4% of all U.S. opioid prescriptions in 2012.

A 2018 study found that people age 16 to 25 whose first opioids were prescribed by a dentist are about 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with opioid abuse within a year.

The Missouri Dental Association worked with lawmakers on the bill’s language. Dan Kessler, who heads the group, tells The Kansas City Star that dentists can be investigated for exceeding dosage limits.

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