Learn Why Pharmacists Need to Communicate with Dentists ::

During the course of their work, pharmacists communicate with other healthcare professionals about medications. Dentists, however, probably aren’t the first other healthcare providers that come to mind. But some pharmacists and dentists do communicate regularly, and more need to do so because it can help to improve the care of dental patients and the safety of their treatment.

For example, dentists may sometimes prescribe antibiotics that a patient is allergic to, and the pharmacist will catch the error and notify the dentist. Also, there are times when a dentist will prescribe a medication that might interact with another drug or drugs a patient who has a chronic condition is taking. For these reasons, pharmacists need to have good relationships with dentists who refer patients, so the pharmacist can consult with them about prescriptions and expectations for treatment.

Opioids

One of the most important areas where pharmacists and dentists can collaborate is in the prescription of painkillers, especially opioids, which are highly addictive. Most dentists are very careful about prescribing such drugs

But when an issue arises, having a good relationship with the dentist makes it much easier for the pharmacist to handle any problems and make sure the treatment is safe and appropriate.

If, for example, the patient submits a prescription for an unusually large dosage of opioids, and the pharmacist suspects it may have been altered, he or she can consult with the dentist. If the pharmacist is familiar with the dentist’s handwriting and prescribing habits, it will be easier to determine if something is amiss.

Pharmacists and dentists both need to avail themselves of state monitoring programs, according to law enforcement officials. Pharmacists should check with the state prescription monitoring program when they have any new patients with a prescription for opioids and consult with the dentist.

With opioid addiction at epidemic proportions, pharmacists need to take special care that patients understand the risks associated with the very strong painkillers, and how anyone can fall into addiction very quickly with these drugs.

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