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Letters: Dentists get training in pain management

Manuel Carranza, a New Cassel man with no

Manuel Carranza, a New Cassel man with no formal medical training, ran an illegal dental practice out of his home for 18 months. Carranza operated a cash-only business, used second-hand instruments, and melted gold jewelry into fillings. He had been living illegally in the United States for 11 years before his arrest in April 2012. Seen here are dental tools confiscated by the police from his home. Carranza was sentenced to 6 months in prison. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

In “Call to OK bill on Rx opioids” [News, March 19], lawmakers raise the issue of whether legislation should be passed to limit the amount of opiates doctors prescribe for acute pain.

The article quotes a pain specialist from Port Jefferson who states that most physicians and dentists don’t have formal training in prescribing controlled substances.

It’s established practice in the United States that all licensed dentists receive a four-year academic degree, plus training in pharmacology, physiology, neuroscience and related health sciences. New York State dentists complete an additional one-year accredited residency before they can practice. Dental specialists may undertake additional study.

Clearly, the training dentists receive is vast and comprehensive. To suggest that the members of the dental profession are unqualified to prescribe controlled substances is grossly unfair.

Dr. David J. Miller, Albany

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the New York State Dental Association.

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