University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

Prescribing Opioids in Dentistry: Requirements, Responsibilities and Alternatives


Self-Study Online (Recorded)


Recorded 5-5-20


Registration open through 5/5/2021 11:59 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)


Following Registration and Payment:

Please Read the instructions in your Confirmation email.

This will include links and instructions for participating

in this self-study online course.

This is a self-study online course. You will have access to the material for one year.

After watching the recorded video course content, you will be directed to a short quiz.

After successfully completing the quiz, you will receive an email link to an evaluation form within 30 minutes.

Once submitted, you will receive a follow-up email (within 30 minutes) with a link to your completion certificate. Please print and save the completion certificate for your records.

Course Description

Note: This course is designed to meet PA Act 124 dental re-licensure requirements for pain management and practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids.

(Act 124 requires prescribers to complete at least 2 hours of Board-approved continuing education in pain management, identification of addiction or the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids as a portion of the total CE required for biennial renewal.)


Safe and effective treatment of acute postoperative pain is essential for patient satisfaction and successful practice in dentistry. Because of the growing crisis from illicit and prescription opioid abuse in Pennsylvania, dentists and other practitioners treating acute and chronic pain must understand the risks and benefits of prescribing opioid analgesics such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. This presentation will indicate how to identify patients at risk for substance abuse and assure proper patient selection. The use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) has been shown to be extremely valuable for discouraging drug seeking behaviors in the dental office. Several non-opioid strategies are employed in dental practices that can improve the efficacy of acute postoperative pain management. Pennsylvania state legislation requires added responsibilities when prescribing opioid analgesics such as Vicodin® and Percocet®. Alternative strategies may decrease the reliance on prescription opioid pain relievers following dental surgery. The policy for opioid-free prescribing recently introduced at Pitt Dental School will be discussed.


Following this presentation, the participants will be able to:

  • explain the rationale for combining the two peripherally-acting analgesics acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®),
  • understand the importance of recent changes in DEA drug scheduling that have been made in opioid/acetaminophen analgesic formulations such as Vicodin ES® and Percocet®,
  • discuss Pennsylvania state legislative requirements for prescribing immediate-acting opioids for acute pain in dentistry,
  • list factors that may contribute to their dental patients being at greater risk of opioid abuse following dental surgery, and
  • provide at least four instructional elements required for counseling patients for safe and responsible prescribing of opioids following a dental procedure.


Paul Moore, DMD, PhD, MPH


Professor of Pharmacology and Dental Public Health, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh



Self-Study Online (Recorded)


Tuition: $50
Credit: Self-Study Online: Credit Hours - 2
Course #: 53920SI
AGD Code: 340



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Continuing Education




Self-Study Online: Credit Hours - 2



For this re-licensure cycle, due to COVID-19, the PA State Board is allowing all self-study online CE to count toward requirements. (Normally, only 50% of self-study credits count toward re-licensure requirements.


Check with your State Board for licensure requirements..


About Us

University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine


The University of Pittsburgh is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

The University of Pittsburgh designates this activity for the number of continuing education credits listed with each course summary.