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Dr. Joseph P. Crowley on the ADA Interim Board Policy on Opioid Prescribing

Dr. John O’Keefe invited Dr. Joseph P. Crowley, the current president of the American Dental Association (ADA), to speak about the ADA’s interim opioids policy, which supports mandatory continuing education on prescribing opioids; statutory limits on opioid dosage and duration of no more than seven days for the treatment of acute pain; and the utilization of prescription drug monitoring programs. Dr. Crowley spoke about the important proactive role the ADA is taking on this issue and also explained that the ADA is committed to being part of the solution.

Dr. Crowley, a general dentist from Cincinnati, Ohio, previously served as an ADA trustee, as a board member on the American Dental Political Action Committee, and as a member and chair of the Council on Government Affairs, among other roles. He is a past president of the Ohio Dental Association, the Cincinnati Dental Society, and he earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry.

We hope you enjoy the conversation. Please share your thoughts, suggestions and questions with us by email at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca or call our toll-free number 1-855-716-2747.

Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team 


The American Dental Association on March 26 announced a new interim policy on opioids that supports prescription limits and mandatory continuing education for dentists. The new policy, officially titled Interim Board Policy on Opioid Prescribing, is believed to be one of the first of its kind from a major health professional organization. 

In the interim policy, the Association says it supports the following:

  • Mandatory continuing education on prescribing opioids and other controlled substances.
  • Prescribing limits on opioid dosage and duration of no more than seven days for the treatment of acute pain, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s evidence-based guidelines.
  • Dentists registering with and utilizing prescription drug monitoring programs to promote the appropriate use of opioids and deter misuse and abuse.

The ADA continues to raise professional awareness about prescription opioid abuse, encouraging dentists to complete Continuing Education Provider Recognition training in model opioid prescribing and urging them to register with their state prescription drug monitoring programs.

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1 Comment

  1. Dr Timothy Winlow, DMD July 16, 2018

    While I applaud the initiative of Dr. Joseph Crowley regarding a more effective, tighter control on the prescribing of opioid medication, I feel that a much greater impact on the population would be felt by implementing similar restrictions in the medical community.

    As a general practitioner who administers a wide range of surgical procedures – arguably those causing the greatest post-operative discomfort – I very rarely prescribe any opioid medication, relying primarily on ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Used judiciously, these medications, combined with a corticosteroid, are extremely effective. In rare cases, I may prescribe two or three tabs of percocet HS to help a patient sleep well over a few days.

    In contrast, on numerous occasions I see patients who arrive in my office, who, after having consulted an ER physician are armed with a multitude of tablets ranging from Tylenol 3 to hydromorphone. This cavalier approach to analgesia is risky at best, and fatal at worst. What is being done to train our medical colleagues to appropriately prescribe these medications??


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