A recent publication from the NIH confirms that every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

Dr. Michael Dachowski and Dr. Michael Sock of Pennsylvania Dental Implant and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery take this issue very seriously. The doctors do their part by employing several measures to aid in ending this crisis. We employ 3 levels of managing post operative pain for our patients:

First is a complete review of medical history, anticipated surgery, and thorough pain medication review through the PDMP, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Second is education and frank discussion on the post operative expectations and requirements for the appropriate pain management.

Third, we offer Exparel, (Bupivacaine liposome) a long acting local anesthetic, recently approved for Oral Surgery use. This medication provides up to 2 post operative pain free days in the areas of surgery, allowing the patient to function, take nutrition, and most importantly, avoid narcotic pain medication. It is especially helpful in wisdom tooth extraction cases and dental implant cases, virtually avoiding the need for opioid medications.

You can read “Opioid Overdose Crisis” from NIH here.