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Can a dentist write prescriptions? This is a subject that has stirred controversy in numerous online media platforms because a lot of people don’t know whether dentists can write prescriptions for their patients or not. To help understand this matter properly, we take a deeper look at what writing prescriptions entails and the individuals permitted to carry out this precarious task. By so doing, we can easily determine whether or not dentists are capable of writing prescriptions.
Writing prescriptions in America
In America, a prescription is an order for medication which is to be dispensed to a particular user normally a patient. Before writing a prescription, the issuer of the prescription needs to have conducted proper diagnosis of the recipient of the prescribed medication to ascertain that he/she needs the medications and that the prescribed medication is the most suited to address whatever problem he/she is suffering from.
When writing a prescription, the issuer needs to clearly indicate the medication name, strength of the medication, the dosage form, the quantity prescribed, directions for use, number of refills, the patient’s full names, the issuer’s full names, date of issue and the issuer’s DEA registration number.
Prescriptions in America can be of two forms- prescriptions for controlled substances and prescriptions for uncontrolled substances. Controlled substances are generally drugs or chemical substances whose manufacture, handling and even use is regulated by the federal government. This includes anything from illegal drugs to certain medications.
Uncontrolled substances on the other hand, are legal substances which are normally over the counter medications which are prescribed by medical practitioners to treat medical conditions, suppress certain symptoms or to prevent infectious diseases.
Who are authorized to write medical prescriptions in America?
Writing prescriptions for controlled substances is only reserved to very few people in America. A prescription can only be issued by a physician, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian and any other medical practitioner on condition that;
1. They are authorized by the state in which they are operating to prescribe controlled medication.
2. They are registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency and have a valid DEA registration number permitting them to write prescriptions for patients.
Writing prescriptions by dentists
As we have already seen above, dentists are legally allowed to write medical prescriptions for their patients but they need to satisfy a few requirements before they can write prescriptions for certain medications.
Upon licensure by the relevant state dental body, dentists are automatically allowed to write prescriptions for non-controlled substances. In dentistry, such substances include medications such as fluoride and ibuprofen and other uncontrolled substances which are normal over the counter medication.
To write prescriptions for controlled substances though, licensed dentists need to make applications to the DEA and statewide departments of public health. In America, each state has its own dental practice act and regulations governing it and the application requirements can therefore differ from one state to another.
Once a dentist has obtained permission from the DEA and has a valid registration number, has satisfied the relevant dental body in his/her state, then they can legally write prescriptions for their patients. This licensure and granting of permission from the statewide body does not limit the class of drugs which a dentist can legally prescribe to a patient.
To prescribe medication a dentist needs to ensure that the prescription is written for a legitimate purpose which needs to be medical in this case and secondly the prescription must be issued by the dentist in his/her area of practice or domain. This means that if a dentist specializes in cosmetic surgery or maybe orthodontic treatment, they can only write prescriptions in these areas. As for good faith, it simply means that the intended medication is meant to address a valid medical condition and no harm is intended by the prescriber or indeed the issuer of the prescribed medication.
Some dentists often stray out of their jurisdiction and attempt to prescribe medication for areas which are medically out of their practice and this invites nothing but pure wrath from the relevant bodies. If nabbed, such dentists’ licenses are revoked or suspended subject to investigations. Dentists should therefore desist from writing prescriptions for medical conditions which fall outside their areas of jurisdiction.
As a patient, you should always remain vigilant. Ensure that the dentist is licensed and authorized to write prescriptions for whatever medical complication you are suffering from. This way, chances of getting the wrong prescriptions are very low.
Here at Vita Dental Spring, we understand how important it is to obtain the relevant licensure and authorization to write prescriptions and all our dentists and other medical practitioners have all the necessary licenses and documents permitting them to write prescriptions and administer medication. For more information on dentists’ ability to write prescriptions, visit our offices in Spring Texas or give us a call today and we will gladly be of helpful service.
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