Report on opioid prescribing by Ontario dentists

March 19, 2018

The Health Analytics Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care was asked for data from the Narcotics Monitoring System regarding the opioid prescribing patterns of dentists in Ontario.

The College received prescription dispense data for the calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016. These were analyzed to assess the level of opioid prescribing by dentists, changes to prescribing patterns over the years and the impact of our opioid Guidelines released in late 2014.

Read our full report.

Key findings:

  • Dentists dispense events were 3.3% of the total in 2014 compared to physician’s dispense events of 96.7%
  • Dentists prescribed opioids for 12% of all opioid patients with 9% by dentists only (in 2014)
  • Dentist dispenses per patient was 1.3 in 2014; physicians’ rate was 5.0
  • Tylenol 2/3, Percocet, Tramadol, Meperidine and Oxycodone account for 97.5% of the dentist opioid dispense events
  • Tylenol 2/3 was the most (75%) prescribed opioid by dentists
  • Dispenses per patient were higher for general dentists
  • There were differences in dispense event patterns by dental specialty and by opioid
  • Patients generally received prescriptions from one dentist