Membership Matters - March 2018 - 25

federal government, was from 2,727
scripts in 2014 to just 1,473 scripts
in 2016.
Now, opioid prescriptions can
no longer include a refill at the first
consultation. Patients can return for
another visit if they think they need
more medication.
Providers are also required to ask
the patient questions about their
addiction history, and document the
conversation in the person's file.
"The dentists did all the work. I
may have been the mouthpiece, but
I got complete buy in," emphasizes
Barozzini, an L.A. expat with a
glinting smile. "The high prescribers
I've had talks with-they're not high
prescribers anymore."
Unliked 31 other states, physicians
in Oregon don't legally have to check
the secure database that records all
prescriptions given to each person.
But Barozzini expects county
dentists to log-in to the system,
called the Oregon Prescription Drug
Monitoring Program.
That cuts down significantly on
what's called "doctor shopping,"
Barozzini says.
"The patients who come in (wanting
too many opioids), I don't think they're
trying to screw the dental program. I
think they have an addiction," he adds.
Opioids can cause serious health
problems, and don't relieve chronic
pain very effectively when used for
long periods, according to a patient
handout distributed by the Multnomah
County Health Department. They're
not much use for what's known as
acute pain either.
Acute pain is a sharp hurt with a
specific cause, like a rotten tooth
that needs extraction. Patients want
it remedied-and in a hurry, which is
understandable-even though the pain
may only last for a few days or weeks.
Chronic pain is different. It lasts for
months, and may not have an easily
identifiable solution.
Dentists, Barozzini notes, are almost
always treating acute pain. And there's
www.oregondental.org

no evidence from clinical studies
suggesting opioids are more effective
at combating acute aches than regular
over-the-counter painkillers.
"Opioids actually don't work as
well as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
in conjunction with an antibiotic," he
explains. "(But) patients don't think
they've gotten legitimate treatment
unless they walk out of the doctor's
office with something strong."
An easy workaround is to prescribe
pills with 600 or 800 milligrams of
ibuprofen in each capsule, which
requires a prescription. But really, it's
no different than popping four OTC
pills that have 200 milligrams each.
Roughly 10 percent of Multnomah
County residents use the public
system of primary care, dental and
pharmacy centers-though if your
income is above the federal poverty
line, you may have never stepped
foot inside one.
About 85 percent of patients
have Medicaid, and the others are

870842_Professional.indd 1

"Quietly, and without
spending a dime, Multnomah
County has slashed in half
the number of pain pills
prescribed at dental health
clinics serving 25,000
low-income patients a year."
uninsured. The legislation known
as ObamaCare greatly expanded
the rolls of citizens who have
access to government-subsidized
insurance plans like CareOregon or
Delta Dental.
County dental clinics are "soup
to nuts" joints, Barozzini describes,
equally adept at fillings, root canals,
sealants and fluoride varnishes for
kids, plus the regular deep cleanings
performed by dental hygienists.
"To serve the underserved, or those
not served at all," Barozzini says.
"That's our mission."

March 20188/2/17 25
2:08 PM


http://www.practicesales.com http://www.practicesales.com http://www.oregondental.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Membership Matters - March 2018

Nicaragua
New Members, Board Meeting Highlights
Events and Education
Molar Movement
Insider Results
ODA Member Benefit of the Month
Compliance Corner
Through the Loupes
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Dentistry
Dentists Take Bite Out of Opioid Epidemic
Service to Veterans
Dental Foundation of Oregon
Health Beyond Communities
Index of Advertisers
Classified Ads
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Intro
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover1
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover2
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 3
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 4
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Nicaragua
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 6
Membership Matters - March 2018 - New Members, Board Meeting Highlights
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 8
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Events and Education
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Molar Movement
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 11
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 12
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Insider Results
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 14
Membership Matters - March 2018 - ODA Member Benefit of the Month
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Compliance Corner
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 17
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Through the Loupes
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 19
Membership Matters - March 2018 - The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Dentistry
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 21
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 22
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 23
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Dentists Take Bite Out of Opioid Epidemic
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 25
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Service to Veterans
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 27
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 28
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Dental Foundation of Oregon
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Health Beyond Communities
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 31
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 32
Membership Matters - March 2018 - 33
Membership Matters - March 2018 - Classified Ads
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover3
Membership Matters - March 2018 - cover4
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert1
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert2
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert3
Membership Matters - March 2018 - outsert4
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