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Prescription of opioid analgesics for nontraumatic dental conditions in emergency departments. Drug Alcohol Depend 2015 Nov 01;156:261-266 PMID: 26471416 PMCID: PMC4633355

Pubmed ID



BACKGROUND: Opioid analgesics prescribed for nontraumatic dental conditions (NTDCs) by emergency physicians continue to receive attention because of the associated potential for misuse, abuse and addiction. This study examined rates of prescription of opioid analgesics and types of opioid analgesics prescribed for NTDC visits in U.S. emergency departments.

METHODS: Data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2007 to 2010 were analyzed. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were performed and adjusted for the survey design.

RESULTS: NTDCs made up 1.7% of all ED visits from 2007 to 2010. The prescription of opioid analgesics was 50.3% for NTDC and 14.8% for non-NTDC visits. The overall rate of opioid analgesics prescribed for NTDCs remained fairly stable from 2007 through 2010. Prescription of opioids was highest among patients aged 19-33 years (56.8%), self-paying (57.1%), and non-Hispanic Whites (53.2%). The probability of being prescribed hydrocodone was highest among uninsured patients (68.7%) and for oxycodone, it was highest among private insurance patients (33.6%). Compared to 34-52 year olds, children 0-4 years were significantly more likely to be prescribed codeine and less likely to be prescribed oxycodone. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks had significantly higher odds of been prescribed codeine and somewhat lower odds of been prescribed oxycodone, but it was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no significant change in the rates of opioid analgesics prescribed over time for NTDC visits to EDs. Age, payer type and race/ethnicity were significant predictors for the prescription of different opioid analgesics by emergency physicians for NTDC visits.

Author List

Okunseri C, Dionne RA, Gordon SM, Okunseri E, Szabo A


Christopher Okunseri DDS,MS Associate Professor and Director in the Clinical Services department at Marquette University
Aniko Szabo PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-84946397669   5 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Analgesics, Opioid
Child, Preschool
Cross-Sectional Studies
Emergency Service, Hospital
Health Care Surveys
Inappropriate Prescribing
Middle Aged
Tooth Diseases
United States
Young Adult
jenkins-FCD Prod-299 9ef562391eceb2b8f95265c767fbba1ce5a52fd6