ODA creates free online course to meet new opioid CE requirement

The Ohio Dental Association recently created a free online opioid CE course to help dentists meet a new dental board requirement.

The Ohio State Dental Board is now requiring all dentists to complete two hours of continuing education on opioid prescribing and related issues. The rule requires two hours of CE for each of the next two bienniums in order for dentists to renew their license in Ohio and went into effect Jan. 1. This requirement applies to all Ohio licensed dentists, whether or not they write prescriptions.

To help ODA members meet this requirement, the Ohio Dental Association has created a free online CE course, “A Dentist’s Guide to Recognizing and Understanding Addiction and Engaging in Responsible Prescribing Practices.” The two hour course on opioid prescribing and other addiction-related information is available at www.oda.org exclusively to ODA members as a benefit of membership.

“This course not only fulfills the mandated CE but helps dentists understand addiction in order to better help our patients,” said ODA President Dr. Sharon Parsons.

The course features Parsons, who is a general dentist from Bexley and the 2019-2020 president of the ODA. Parsons has a compelling story of how the opioid crisis and addiction affected her and her family directly.

Dr. David Kimberly, an oral surgeon in private practice in Akron and the 2019-2020 president-elect of the ODA, explains how the addiction crisis has impacted his approach to prescribing pain medication in his practice.

Dr. Kumar Subramanian, an endodontist in Pickerington and a part-time educator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, also speaks in the CE course. He has served as the president of the Ohio State Dental Board (OSDB) and worked closely with the Opioid Committee in drafting prescribing rules for the state of Ohio.

The ODA House of Delegates adopted a policy on opioid prescribing at its 2018 meeting.

The policy supports continuing education for dentists in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances.

The policy also supports statutory limits on opioid dosage and duration of no more than seven days for the treatment of acute pain, while also recognizing the need for clinical judgment in pain management and to determine patient care.

Additionally, the policy supports dentists registering for and utilizing OARRS, Ohio’s prescription monitoring database to promote the appropriate use of controlled substances for legitimate medical purposes and deter the misuse, abuse, and diversion of these substances.

“The issue of preventing drug diversion and opiate addiction is important to the dental profession and the Ohio Dental Association,” Parsons said. “The Ohio Dental Association has been proud to partner with policymakers and other interested parties to address this critical issue over the last several years.”

ODA members can access the free online CE course to fulfill the OSDB’s requirement by clicking here.