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Washington State Dental Association

Public Comment Request: Dental Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Pain

Your feedback is requested on the Bree Collaborative’s draft Dental Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Pain. Our workgroup will review comments before submitting a final draft for review and adoption by the Bree Collaborative. Please read the draft Guideline before completing the survey here. We estimate that this survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Among prescribers of opioids for adolescents, dentists are proportionately the most prevalent prescribers. An estimated 56 million tablets of 5 mg hydrocodone are prescribed after third molar extractions each year in the United States. High schoolers who receive an opioid prescription are 33% more likely to misuse opioids between the ages of 18 and 23 years. Dental providers could play a critical role in minimizing opioid exposure for vulnerable young people by reducing the number of opioid tablets prescribed for common procedures such as extractions.

This guideline was developed in collaboration with a broad advisory group of the state’s academic leaders, pain experts, and dentists in general care and specialty areas in response to the growing epidemic of opioid-related overdoses and supplements the Agency Medical Director’s Group (AMDG) Interagency Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Pain. The guideline is based on the best available clinical and scientific evidence from the literature and a consensus of expert opinion.

Feedback must be received by 5pm Friday, August 25. 

Read the draft Dental Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Pain

Take the Survey

For more information or to give additional feedback, please contact Ginny Weir, Program Director of the Bree Collaborative at or visit Thank you in advance for your participation in this effort to improve health care quality, outcomes, and affordability in Washington State.


  • Compton WM, Jones CM, Baldwin GT. Relationship between nonmedical prescription-opioid use and heroin use. New England Journal of Medicine 2016;374:154-63.
  • Denisco RC, Kenna GA, O’Neil MG, et al. Prevention of prescription opioid abuse: The role of the dentist. The Journal of the American Dental Association 2011;142:800-10.
  • Miech R, Johnston L, O’Malley PM, Keyes KM, Heard K. Prescription opioids in adolescence and future opioid misuse. Pediatrics 2015:peds. 2015-1364.
  • Rudd RA. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths—United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2016;65.
  • Volkow ND, McLellan TA, Cotto JH, Karithanom M, Weiss SR. Characteristics of opioid prescriptions in 2009. Jama 2011;305:1299-301.
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