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COAFS and Aetna Partner to Fight Opioid Addiction

Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery (COAFS) has been selected to participate in a pilot program with Aetna to help reduce opioid usage. The initiative is aimed at cutting down on the prescription of opioids – a mission that COAFS is proud to partner in.

Did you know that prescriptions for opioids have skyrocketed from 76 million in 1991 to 259 million in 2012, with dentists prescribing 12% of this staggering total? It’s even more concerning that in 2010, 5.1 million people were classified as prescription opioid abusers and each day, approximately 2,100 adolescents between 12 and 17 years old used a prescription pain reliever non-medically for the first time.

Aetna now covers the cost of Exparel, a non-narcotic local analgesic that provides long-lasting post-surgical pain relief – and a promising step toward fighting the opioid epidemic.

Exparel is injected directly into the surgical site during the procedure, numbing the area before any pain is experienced. Exparel is especially beneficial in wisdom tooth removal since its pain-relieving effects last days after surgery, when patients often experience the most intense pain. As a result, many patients need fewer pain medications after the surgery.

As one of the few oral surgery practices in the area to offer Exparel, we believe that Aetna’s commitment to reimbursement is an exciting new development for patients. Please call us at 843-762-9028 to learn more about Exparel or discuss your pain management options.