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In today's health climate, helping patients maintain health and wellness has never been more important.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 | Posted in GEHA Connection Dental Network News

In today’s health climate, helping patients maintain health and wellness has never been more important. Part of that support is providing care that will mitigate or altogether avoid the consequences associated with exposure to opioids as a part of health care treatments.

  • 1 out of 15 surgical patients prescribed an opioid may go on to long-term use or abuse1,2
  • 3.5 million patients are exposed to opioids through oral and maxillofacial surgery every month3
  • Patients prescribed opioids legitimately in 12th grade see a 33% increased risk of future opioid use4
  • 70% of patients are prescribed opioids after a third molar extraction to address postsurgical pain5
How EXPAREL manages postsurgical pain

A new FDA-approved treatment called EXPAREL aims to manage postsurgical pain in certain oral, jaw and face surgeries with significantly less opioid use. EXPAREL is a non-opioid local analgesic for children ages six and older. It works by numbing or reducing sensation in specific parts of the body, providing long-lasting pain management when patients need it most. To learn more, view this article:

EXPAREL is reimbursed for dental procedures using the code D9613

D9613 is defined by the CDT© American Dental Association as “Infiltration of sustained release therapeutic drug – per quadrant.” For the complete definition of D9613, see the 2024 CDT American Dental Association.
For more information about how to submit claims and benefit information for D9613, please download the pdf 2024 GEHA Plan Manual for Dental Providers. The manual also describes all covered dental benefits for GEHA health and dental benefits members. You can find this manual by visiting the Connection Dental Resource Center.

  1. Caroll, I, Barelka P, Wang CKM, et al. A pilot cohort study of the determinants of longitudinal opioid use after surgery. Anesth Analg. 2012; 115(3):694-702.
  2. Alam A, Gomes T, Zheng H, et al. Long-term analgesic use after low-risk surgery: a retrospective cohort study. Arch Intern Med. 2012, 172(5):425-430.
  3. Lero PT, Mulherin DR, Jensen O, Berry T, Danesi H, Razook SJ. A prospective randomized, open-label study comparing an opioid-sparing postsurgical pain management protocol with and without liposomal bupivacaine for full-arch implant surgery. Int J Oral Maxillofac implants. 2019;33(5):1155-1164.
  4. Miech R, Johnston L, O'Malley PM, Keyes KM, Heard K. Prescription opioids in adolescence and future opioid misuse. Pediatrics. 2015;136(5):e1169-e1177.
  5. New research shows vast majority of oral surgery patients would choose non-opioid medication to treat postsurgical pain if given the option. Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2017.

The information contained herein is for informational and educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and if you have questions regarding a medical condition, regimen or treatment you should always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice from a qualified medical professional because of information you have read herein.

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