The common wisdom teeth removal procedure is one of the most common adolescent surgeries that 85% of young adults receive in their lifetime. Such a minor and ordinary surgery often comes with a prescription of opioid medications that a new study says is a dangerous leap into addiction that would otherwise be avoided in many other cases.
A study conducted by Researchers at the University of Michigan found young adults between the ages of 13 and 30 are three times more likely to continue filling opioid prescriptions after wisdom teeth surgery. The study was managed over 71,000 people from 2009 to 2015, of those, 60,000 patients filled their opioid prescription following their surgery. Patients in their teens and twenties had the highest most persistent odds of opioid use following their initial prescriptions. This is congruent with multiple studies that have shown new opioid users are at risk after elective surgeries.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, five million people have had a wisdom tooth extracted and the most routine mediation prescription is Vicodin, a medication that combines an opioid medication with Tylenol.
“From our findings, we should strongly consider not prescribing any opioids routinely after wisdom teeth are pulled. Particularly since there is evidence that anti-inflammatories may be just as good, if not better, for pain management after wisdom teeth are pulled,” Dr. Calista Harbaugh, a general surgery resident at the University of Michigan, told ABC News.
“Teens and young adults are an important population to understand the effects of exposure to opioids for predictable reasons, like having wisdom teeth pulled. They are vulnerable from the standpoint of ongoing development as well as social pressures,” said Harbaugh.
In April, independent researchers from the ADA Science Institute and Case Western University presented a review of studies within the Journal of the American Dental Association confirm that adding anti-inflammatory drugs to acetaminophen for more effective pain relief with less side effects. This is supported by the ADA’s 2016 policy statement that dentists should “consider NSAIDs as the first-line therapy for acute pain management.”
“It will be important to find areas where we can help eliminate the exposure to opioids in this group to show long term decrease in opioid use,” Dr. Chad Brummett, an assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan, told ABC News.
Source : The Recover Newsroom