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ER doctors face dilemma on painkillers

The New York Times, May 1, 2012

The frequent prescription of narcotics in emergency departments for dental pain has been quantified for the first time by research financed by the National Institutes of Health. From 1997 to 2007, painkillers were prescribed in three of four visits to the emergency department for dental complaints; roughly half of visits resulted in a prescription for antibiotics, according to a new analysis of the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey by Dr. Christopher Okunseri, a practicing dentist and an associate professor of public health at the Marquette University School of Dentistry in Milwaukee.