Appropriate Postoperative Analgesia Prescribing

How do you make sure your patients are comfortable (and pain free) when the anesthetic wears off?

Mark Donaldson, BSP, RPH, PharmD, FASHP, FACHE

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This course is offered as an in person lecture or as an online live webinar. This course will fulfill the 3-hour opioids training requirement for dentists who prescribe opioids.


This program focuses on current treatment regimens to provide successful postoperative analgesia following dental surgery. It qualifies as the 3 continuing education hour requirement as described by WAC 246-817-909: Continuing education requirements for opioid prescribing.

Course Description

Wouldn’t it be nice to go to a continuing education program that gives you the tools to be more successful starting on Monday morning? Wouldn’t it be great to be known as the dentist who offers excellent pain-free, post-operative care without the use of narcotics? Wouldn’t you like to be more confident in all of your prescription writing, knowing that you are on the cutting edge, that you are evidence-based and that you are guideline-driven? This is that program.

The United States continues to face a national opioid crisis that has affected every region of the country. More than 760,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose. Two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved an opioid. The growing number of overdoses and deaths caused by opioids, including fentanyl, is a public health crisis.

Unfortunately, dentists follow primary care physicians as the second-leading prescribers of immediate-release opioids. As such, dentists have been identified as having an important role in opioid abuse prevention efforts. You do not want to be part of this problem – you want to be part of the solution. Remember the Spiderman Principle that, “with great power there must also come – great responsibility.”

This interactive program looks at the appropriate prescribing of analgesics with a particular focus on the dental realm. Case studies will augment the delivery of key points and a problem-based learning approach is encouraged so that each participant’s questions are addressed.

Course Objectives

As a result of attending this class, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the pathophysiology of pain as it relates to dentistry
  • Understand the perfect analgesic recipe to keep (almost) all of your patients out of pain – first time, every time
  • Describe the different types of analgesics available and how to match the right drug at the right dose for the right patient and the right procedure
  • Explain why narcotic-containing analgesics should not be routinely prescribed for post-operative dental pain
  • Describe the mechanism of action of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Discuss the importance of consulting one’s state Prescription Drug Therapy Monitoring Program


Mark DonaldsonMark Donaldson received his baccalaureate degree from the University of British Columbia and his Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy from the University of Washington. He completed a residency at Vancouver General Hospital, and has practiced as a clinical pharmacy specialist, clinical coordinator and director of pharmacy services at many healthcare organizations in both Canada and the United States. He is currently the Associate Principal of Clinical Pharmacy for Vizient’s Advisory Solutions, and lives in Whitefish, Montana.

Dr. Donaldson is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Montana in Missoula, and Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Dentistry at the Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. He has a special interest in dental pharmacology and has lectured internationally to both dental and medical practitioners. He has spent the last 20 years focusing on dental pharmacology and dental therapeutics, and is a leader in the field.

Dr. Donaldson has published numerous peer-reviewed works and textbook chapters. He currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal Healthcare Executive and the Journal of the American Dental Association and is a reviewer for over ten other different journals. He is board certified in healthcare management and is the Past-President and current Regent of the American College of Healthcare Executives’ Montana Chapter. Dr. Donaldson was named as the 2014 recipient of the Bowl of Hygeia for the state of Montana and is the 2016 recipient of the Dr. Thaddeus V. Weclew Award. This award is conferred upon an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the medical, dental and pharmacy literature.


  • Dr. Donaldson has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
  • The staff of the University of Washington Office of Continuing Dental Education have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Course Logistics

Thursday evening, March 10, 2022

In person or virtual:
University of Washington
Health Sciences Center, Room D-209
Seattle, WA 98195


Online via Zoom live webinar

This course is designed for dentists who prescribe or provide pain medication in their offices. Other dental professionals may be interested in the course content as well.

Registration and light dinner snack: 5:30pm – 6:00pm
Course: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

TUITION – price includes light dinner snack for in person attendees:
Until March 8, 2022(after, $15 more)
$79/Team members (dental hygienist, dental assistant, office staff)
$116/Current Dental Alumni Member per day

* This course is eligible for a 10% tuition discount if you are a current member of the UW Dental Alumni Association.

3 hours


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The University of Washington is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.
ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

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The University of Washington is a member of the Association for Continuing Dental Education.

University of Washington designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.