(Qualifies for the Opioid requirement by the State Dental Board)

This course qualifies the enrollee for 1.0 CE credit hours and the cost is $25. Register for the Opioid Crisis course. (log-in with CE ID is required)

Course issued: 7/2022; expires 7/2025

Course Description

Over promotion and over prescribing of opioids has contributed to the current public health emergency we face in the U.S.. Dentists write 6% of acute use opioid prescriptions but generally prescribe very few tablets per prescription. To what extent are we contributing to the development of opioid Substance Use Disorders and how can we modify our prescribing behaviors to minimize patient risk? We will outline specific strategies designed to identify the safety of prescribing opioids based on individual patient characteristics. Patient education on safe pain relief will also be reviewed. Extensive and very current handouts will be provided to maximize the chairside value of this vitally important information.


After attending this course and reviewing the handouts, the participant should be able to:

  1. Discuss the extent of the opioid abuse problem in the U.S. and in your state,
  2. Recognize the role of the dentist in contributing to the current public health emergency,
  3. Explain the relative pain relief effectiveness of non-opioid and opioid agents in acute pain, and
  4. Discuss the benefits and risks of specific pain control regimens for effective dental analgesia.

Topic Schedule
Can Short Term Exposure to Oral Opioids Trigger Addiction?

  • magnitude of the problem and where Iowa fits in
  • who is at highest risk of developing a substance use disorder
  • how to determine when opioids are contra-indicated
  • how to manage acute pain in the patient with a SUD history
  • how to use the PDMP as a tool to enhance patient safety

What is the Truth about Pain Efficacy in Dentistry

  • what does the NNT data tell us about relative efficacy
  • why do patients perceive opiates to be “stronger” than NSAIDs​
  • how can we effectively educate patients about risk:benefit of opioids

How to Choose the Best Regimen for Patient-Specific Pain Control

  • guidelines for prescribing NSAIDs for dental analgesia
  • what’s the current status of acetaminophen dosing?
  • when is tramadol a good dental alternative
  • prescribing opiates to maximize tolerability
  • pseudo-allergy vs IgE mediated hypersensitivity to opiates
  • practical guidelines to minimize abuse liability in dental practice
  • information resources for dentists and patients
  • Questions and adjourn


Karen Baker, RPh, MS, Pharm, Professor, Department of Oral Pathology, Radiology and Medicine, The University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Professor Baker has been on the Dental College faculty at The University of Iowa for 31 years and occupies a unique role in dental practice and education. She is a clinical pharmacist with a Master’s degree in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics and is focused on patient-specific dental drug therapy. Professor Baker has given over 900 programs nationally and internationally and holds memberships in many dental and clinical pharmacology and therapeutic organizations. Her dental education-based pharmacy and drug therapy consultation center is the only one in the United States. She has authored more than 50 articles and abstracts and lectures extensively in pre-doctoral and graduate-level courses at The University of Iowa.

Completion of this course and quiz qualifies the enrollee for 1 CE credit hour. The course qualifies for the new Opioid requirement by the State Dental Board.