We investigated disparities in the prescription of analgesics following dental procedures that were expected to cause acute postoperative pain. Patients over the age of 19 years who had been treated by surgical and/or endodontic dental procedures were included in this study. We reviewed 900 consecutive charts and abstracted data on procedures, patients, and providers. We used chi-square and logistic regression models for analyses. There were 485 White subjects, 357 African American subjects included in this review; 81% of the African American and 78% of White patients received a postoperative narcotic prescription (p = .56). In multivariate regression models, patients over age 45 (p = .003), those with insurance that covered medication and those with preexisting pain (p = .004) were more likely to receive narcotic analgesics. Students prescribed more narcotics than residents (p = .001). No differences were found by race in prescribing analgesics.
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