Altarum Offers New Virtual Training Course on Safe Opioid Prescribing in Dentistry  

May 22, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis is marching on. More than 2 million Americans struggle with opioid use disorder, with approximately 130 Americans dying each day from an opioid overdose, and the coronavirus may only exacerbate this already extensive problem. 

Data indicate that dentists are frequent prescribers of opioids, especially after tooth extractions. However, a new study finds that opioids are no more effective than other pain medications. In fact, patients who used opioids after their procedures reported higher levels of pain compared with nonopioid users.

To help promote safe opioid prescribing in dentistry, Altarum teamed up with the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Network (Michigan OPEN) to develop a free online training course for Continuing Dental Education (CDE) credit.  

The course, Pain Management in Dentistry, meets Michigan’s licensure requirement for three credit hours of board-approved continuing education for pain and symptom management, and includes three distinct training modules on dental pain management and responsible opioid prescribing:

  • The Role of Acute Care Prescribing in the Opioid Epidemic
  • The Role of Dentists in the Opioid Crisis
  • Pain Management with Over-the-Counter Analgesics

Additionally, Altarum’s professional practice facilitators will offer virtual academic detailing and technical assistance to 45 opioid-prescribing dentists. Altarum will support these dentists by providing educational materials in one-on-one academic detailing sessions. These sessions will help these dentists successfully integrate responsible pain management into their workflow, engage clinical staff in a meaningful way, drive ongoing quality improvement, and work towards system-wide transformation.

Altarum Offers New Virtual Training Course on Safe Opioid Prescribing in Dentistry

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Altarum specializes in clinical quality improvement training to enhance patient outcomes while providing accredited education across a broad spectrum of healthcare providers. Our continuing education programs lead to measurable results that are sustained not just in the days or weeks after training, but over the long term.

Are you interested in signing up for the course? With elective dental care suspended in many places or patients avoiding routine dental visits, now is the perfect time to earn CDE credits. You’re eligible to participate if you are a Michigan-based Dental Provider with an active DEA license. Enroll today (course ID: 20OPEND01). If you have any questions, or for more information, contact: or call 734-302-5695.

And to learn about our custom continuing education programs for a host of public health issues, from children’s oral health to transforming depression, read about our accredited CE program and contact Director of Appropriate Care Anya Day.

Altarum is a nonprofit organization that works with federal and state agencies and foundations to design and implement solutions to improve the health of individuals with fewer financial resources and populations disenfranchised by the health care system. We achieve measurable results by combining our expertise in public health and health care delivery with technology, workforce training and continuing education, applied research, and technical assistance. Our innovative solutions lead to better health for beneficiaries and better value for payers.