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Continuing Dental Education

Opioids Training -The Art of Dental Therapeutics – 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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Original recording date: Thursday, March 10, 2022

This course meets the requirements for Washington State 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.

Original recording date: Thursday, March 10, 2022

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.


Simply register online. You will be directed to UW CDE’s secure online registration. Register for “Opioids Training -The Art of Dental Therapeutics – Appropriate Postoperative Analgesia Prescribing”. You will receive an emailed confirmation letter with a link to the video. An online exam will be sent upon viewing the entire video with no skipping ahead (we realize this is annoying but it’s the technology).

Once you’ve completed the video in its entirety, a link will be sent to you with the quiz. Once you have passed the quiz, a certificate of completion document will be emailed to you automatically. You will have until June 30th of the current CDE course year (September – June) to complete the training.

  • If you do not complete the training by June 30th of the current CDE course year (September – June), you will have to sign up for the course again. No refunds will be given for online courses.

Washington State Dentists and Online Course Materials

Please note that per WAC 246-817-440-4bi, while there is no longer a limit to the number of hours Washington State dentists may take for continuing education provided online, please note that for pre-recorded or other forms of non-live presentations where there is not an instructor presenting in real-time and able to respond to questions in real-time, thirty minutes will count for every one hour completed for this type of activity.

Course Logistics

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Live Webinar

This course is designed for specialists, dentists and treatment planners, but other members of team may find it beneficial.


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.