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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new Missouri law limits the amount and types of pain medications that dentists can prescribe after studies found that painkillers prescribed after routine dental work are contributing to a national epidemic of opioid addiction.

Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill this month that directs dentists to prescribe no opioids more than the equivalent of 10 regular Vicodin pills per day and to prescribe no extended-release opioids, such as OxyContin, at all.

Dan Kessler, the president of the Missouri Dental Association, said the trade group worked with lawmakers on the language in the bill.

"I think we all are for limitations and not over-prescribing or not even using things like hydrocodone," Kessler told The Kansas City Star. Hydrocodone is an ingredient in painkillers including Vicodin.

Dentists who step outside the requirements of the new law will have to document why in the patient's medical record.

The American Dental Association says dentists accounted for 6.4% of all U.S. opioid prescriptions in 2012. Meanwhile, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in December showed that dentist opioid prescriptions play a significant role in adolescent and young adult addiction.

The study found that people ages 16 to 25 whose first opioids were prescribed by a dentist are more than 10 times more likely than their peers to be diagnosed with opioid abuse within a year.

A Section on 07/28/2019

Print Headline: Opioids law limits dental prescriptions

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