Opioid Prescription Update

The MDA clears up some common misconceptions about Opioid prescriptions based on recently passed legislation.

Since Governor Parson signed Senate Bill 514, media outlets have been saturating the public with how they perceive the statute to read. Also since then, the MDA has received many emails and calls expressing concerns and questions regarding the prescriptions of opioids by dentists.

As you know, the MDA supports efforts to address the opioid epidemic in Missouri and nationwide. Therefore, the MDA worked with the Missouri Dental Board on its language addressing the opioid crisis and offered our full support on its legislation.

There are some common misconceptions that the MDA feels need to be addressed given the large amount of concerns and inquiries.

The statute does not limit the specific medication that a dentist can prescribe. The statute states that long-acting or extended-release opioids shall not be used for the treatment of ACUTE pain, UNLESS it is necessary in the professional judgement of the dentist. It then requires that you document that necessity.

The language also states that dentists should avoid doses greater than 50 morphine milligram equivalent (MME) per day for treatment of ACUTE pain, UNLESS in the professional judgment, and again the dentist shall document. The Missouri Dental Board will be posting an MME conversion chart in order to help dentists with other alternatives for acute pain management outside of the use of opioids (and we will alert dentists once this is posted).

The purpose of this legislation was to address the opioid crisis plaguing the country from a dental front while not tying the hands of dentists from properly treating patients, and to give dentists an avenue for other options for acute pain management. The purpose of this language was NOT to put dentists in a position to have their license removed by the Missouri Dental Board for prescribing any opioid, as many of the articles are portraying.

Please contact Shantel Smith, MDA Legislative and Regulatory Director, with any questions or concerns you may have.