Report: Wisdom tooth surgery increases risk for long-term use of opioids

Using insurance data, a new study looks at the impact of wisdom teeth removal on opioid use. (Getty/SIphotography)

Getting wisdom teeth pulled often comes with a side of potent painkillers to help the discomfort. 

And a new research report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday warns those opioid drug prescriptions associated with the common dental procedure may be leading to long-term use among young people. 

Researchers from the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation examined the national Truven MarketScan, a national employer insurance database, to focus on 56,686 wisdom tooth patients between 2009 and 2015.

Free Daily Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceHealthcare!

The healthcare sector remains in flux as policy, regulation, technology and trends shape the market. FierceHealthcare subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data impacting their world. Sign up today to get healthcare news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

​​​​​​RELATED: AHIP study finds room for improvement in opioid prescribing practices

The study comes in the midst of an opioid crisis, with opioid overdoses accounting for more than 42,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2016, more than any previous year on record. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid.

Suggested Articles

Humana filed suit Friday against more than a dozen generic drugmakers alleging the companies engaged in price fixing.

Ochsner Health System is partnering with Color to launch a population health pilot program to integrate genetic information into preventive care.

Medicare Advantage open enrollment kicked off last week, and insurers are taking new approaches to marketing a slate of supplemental benefit options.