The Opioid Epidemic with Recommendations for Managing Dental Pain

Friday, January 17, 2020 from 10AM - 12PM
The registration period has closed for this event.


Opioid drug abuse is considered a national crisis. It is important for the dental team to understand the factors contributing to opioid abuse, the kinds of opioids currently abused and the pharmacologic and toxicologic effects of those commonly abused opioids. It is also important for the dental team to understand how to manage dental pain to reduce opioid use and abuse. Furthermore, the dental team must understand how to care for a patient who is recovering from opioid abuse or addiction. The dental team must also be aware of and able to detect patients who may be seeking drugs for abuse or misuse.

Dr. Sims will review the common opioids of abuse and those drugs' effects on oral health and dental treatment. She will provide guidance for treating patients to reduce opioid exposure and those who are recovering from drug abuse.


At the conclusion of this course the participant should be able to

1. Describe the contribution of prescribed opioids to the current opioid epidemic.

2. Describe illicit opioids and how they are contributing to the increasing number of fatalities currently.

3. Describe the risk associated with the concurrent use of benzodiazepine and opioid medications.

4. Recommend non-opioid options for managing a patient's mild, moderate and moderately severe dental pain.

5. Identify medications used to manage a patient's recovery from opioid abuse.

6. Recommend medications to manage pain in a patient recovering from opioid abuse.

7. Describe patterns that indicate drug seeking behavior.

8. Identify resources available to assist in detecting prescription drug abuse. (i.e., PDMP)

Educational Methods: Lecture, PowerPoint Presentation


Registration is $65 per person.


Pamela J. Sims, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Sims earned her B.S. Pharmacy from the University of Florida, her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University and her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dr. Sims recently retired as Professor of Pharmacokinetics in the Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences at Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy (SUMSOP) where she also coordinated and lectured in pharmacology courses for the Nurse Anesthesia, Nurse Practitioner and Physical Therapy programs.

Prior to Samford, she served on the faculty of Idaho State University.

Dr. Sims holds a faculty appointment in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry Department of Pediatrics where she provides lectures in Pharmacology to the Post-doctoral Dental Residents and has provided courses to the residents and the Part II Board Review in Pharmacology to D4 students as well as lectures to D3 and D4 students.

Dr. Sims publishes and lectures nationally and internationally concerning topics on Dental Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacokinetics, Clinical Pharmacology and Pedagogy.

About Us
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider - 11/01/2017 - 12/31/2021.


Registration open through 1/16/2020 10:59 PM EST

Continuing Education
Lecture: Credits - 2

UAB School of Dentistry

1919 7th Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35294

Click here for directions