Continuing Dental Education

Homecare, Herbals and the Prescription Opioid Crisis: What You Need to Know Today

What You Need to Know Today

Karen Baker, MS

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Course Description

Healthcare products – both over-the-counter and pharmaceuticals – are constantly changing. Manufacturers claim great results and get your patients’ attention through advertisements and social media posts. How do you stay up-to-date? A patient comes in using the latest whitening toothpaste or claiming an herbal supplement has worked wonders – do you know how effective or harmful these may be? How do you stay current on the best methods for dental pain management, and what are the best practices considering the current opioid crisis? Come for a fast-paced class that will bring you up to speed on the latest in homecare products, the herbals available to your patients, and how best to manage pain in a world where opioids are at the center of attention.

New Homecare Products: How to Make the Best Choices

With so many new dental products on the market, patients ask for and need your professional guidance now more than ever. Are antioxidants, polyphenols, xylitol, edathamil, melaleuca, oil pulling or chlorine dioxide worth your recommendation? We’ll compare manufacturer claims with available evidence. An extensive and very current handout that will help you design optimal homecare regimens based on patient specific factors accompanies this entertaining yet comprehensive summary of product information.

Nutraceuticals and Oral Health: A Review for the Dental Clinician

The resurgence of alternative medicine has produced confusion and conflict among dental professionals and patients alike. During this program, we will discuss the dental treatment impact of popular systemic supplements as well as the effectiveness of nutraceutical products promoted for treatment of oral diseases such as caries, mucositis, gingivitis and periodontitis. We will conclude by discussing reliable information sources and step-wise strategies for evaluating and managing patients using or considering the use of nutraceutical oral health products. A practical and detailed handout will be provided to allow participants to apply this information to their practice.

The Prescription Opioid Crisis: Impact on Dental Pain Management

Over promotion and over prescribing of opioids has contributed to the current public health emergency we face in the U.S. Dentists write 10% of the opioid prescriptions but generally prescribe very few tablets per prescription. To what extent are we contributing to the development of opioid Substance Use Disorders and how can we modify our prescribing behaviors to minimize patient risk? We will outline specific strategies designed to identify the safety of prescribing opioids based on individual patient characteristics. Patient education on safe pain relief will also be reviewed. Extensive and very current handouts will be provided to maximize the chairside value of this vitally important information.

Course Objectives

After attending this full day course and reviewing the handouts, the participant should be able to:

  • Recommend a mouthrinse based on patient factors such as xerostomia and caries risk.
  • Select an “alternative” homecare product line based on effective ingredients and reasonable manufacturer claims.
  • Select specific nutraceutical oral health products with reasonable claims and safe ingredients.
  • Evaluate and rate the effectiveness of nutraceutical products for microbial and non-microbial mucositis, caries, gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Recognize the role of the dentist in contributing to the current public health emergency related to opioid abuse.
  • Discuss the benefits and risks of specific pain control regimens for effective dental analgesia.


Karen Baker has been on the Dental College faculty at the University of Iowa for 36 years and occupies a unique role in dental practice and education. She is a clinical pharmacist with a Master’s degree in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics and is focused on patient-specific dental drug therapy. She has given well over 1000 invited programs nationally and internationally and holds memberships in many dental and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics organizations. Her dental education-based pharmacy and drug therapy consultation center is the only one in the United States. She has authored more than 50 articles and abstracts and lectures extensively in pre-doctoral and graduate courses at the University of Iowa.


  • Karen Baker has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
  • The staff of the University of Washington Office of Continuing Dental Education, Seattle King County Dental Society, and Snohomish County Dental Society have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Course Logistics

Friday, March 1, 2019

Lynnwood Convention Center
3711 196th Street SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036

This course is designed for the whole dental team.

Download Course Application Form
Register Online

Registration and Continental Breakfast: 8:00am – 8:30am
Course: 8:30am – 4:30pm

TUITION – price includes lunch:
Until October 31, 2018

November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019

February 1, 2019 – March 1, 2019

CREDITS: 7 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.

Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition at

This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) through joint efforts between Seattle King County Dental Society, Snohomish County Dental Society, and the University of Washington.

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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 7 continuing education credits.