By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Some good news when it comes to the opioid crisis. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says opioid-related overdose deaths fell nearly 11-percent in the first six months of this year compared to the first half of last year.

One way that people are first introduced to opioids is after dental procedures and researchers in Michigan say thousands of kids a year could become new chronic opioid users after something as simple as having their wisdom teeth removed.

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Despite the fact that a combination of ibuprofen and Tylenol can effectively treat pain after a tooth extraction, many dentists still offer opioids like Vicodin or Codeine to their patients.

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Researchers say just filling those prescriptions could more than double the odds they would continue to misuse opioids even if they have never used these drugs before.

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The American Dental Association now recommends the use of alternative pain relievers and only prescribing a 7-day supply when opioids are necessary.

Dr. Mallika Marshall