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In brief: CBD may be as effective as opioids for dental pain, says study

Nov. 17, 2023
Learn the results of a first-of-its kind study on CBD and dental pain; what researchers found about operatory splatter patterns; and more.

Study: CBD may be as effective as opioids at reducing dental pain

First-of-its-kind research from Rutgers University on the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) for dental pain indicates it may be as effective as opioids, with study authors saying they think the “groundbreaking” study results are “strong enough to make a compelling case to use pure CBD” to treat dental pain. The 61 study participants received either one of two doses of a pure CBD solution called Epidiolex or a placebo, after which their pain levels were monitored for three hours with a visual analog scale (VAS); researchers concluded that both CBD groups reported “substantially more pain reduction” than the placebo group.

Routine PCP dental screenings might not help at-risk patients

Medscape reports on findings that suggest routine primary care screenings for caries and gum disease might be ineffective for patients most at risk and that such patients may be better served by an immediate dentist referral if their PCP sees clear signs of disease. According to a statement by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) first published in JAMA, current data on oral health screenings or enhancement strategies in primary care settings is inconclusive and suggests that "Clinicians, in the absence of clear guidelines, should continue to use their best judgment." 

Splatter study offers insight on COVID protocol 

Also in a research first, a study on splatter patterns from rotary instruments and irrigation during oral surgery was published in Clinical Oral Investigations, with researchers experimenting on manikins to determine the impact of irrigation in dental operatories. The results from 52 procedures showed, among other results, that using hydrogen peroxide as an irrigant instead of saline increased the area of droplet splatter—information that could “change the pre-existing ideas about using hydrogen peroxide to prevent COVID-19 in patient clinics,” said the study coauthor.

ICYMI: Henry Schein cyberattack

Following a data breach that dental supplier and health-care solutions provider Henry Schein first reported last month, last week the company warned customers and suppliers that sensitive information may have been exposed in the cyberattack and encouraged them to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. The breach was instigated by a cyberattack group called BlackCat that claimed to have stolen 35 TB of sensitive data, including internal payroll data and shareholder folders.