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ADA calls on dentists to fight painkiller abuse
Updated: 9/27/2012 6:00:06 AM

ADA calls on dentists to fight painkiller abuse  

Dentists play a vital role in helping you maintain your overall health. That's because a dental health professional can remove the plaque and bacteria that normal brushing misses, which can spread throughout the rest of the body if it is left unchecked. Now, the American Dental Association (ADA) is asking dentists to do even more.

Recently, the ADA announced its support for the Drug Enforcement Administration's fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29. The ADA urged dentists to use this day as an opportunity to counsel patients on how to properly dispose of any prescription drugs they may have leftover following a dental procedure.

"Medicine abuse has become a real problem in our communities," said ADA President William R. Calnon, D.D.S. "As prescribers of narcotic pain medications, dentists are well positioned to educate patients about how to keep these drugs from becoming a source of harm."

According to WebMD, following a dental surgery, it is not uncommon for a dentist to prescribe painkillers. It's important to dispose of these pills properly and keep them out of the reach of children, and you should ask the dentist if you are unsure of how to deal with these medications.

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