Controlled Substances 101

controlled substances 101

Patterson Dental has recently announced that pharmaceuticals are now available for purchase on our website, including certain products that are classified as controlled substances. Unlike other products, the sale of controlled substances is regulated by the government, and as such certain procedures are integrated into the ordering process in order to prevent misuse.

Since ordering Penicillin is a bit more involved than, say, a tube of toothpaste, we bring you “Controlled Substances 101.” This post will highlight the difference between pharmaceuticals and controlled substances, cover the documentation you’ll need if you plan to purchase these products from us, take you through the ordering process, and point you towards additional informational resources.

If you have any confusion about controlled substances, then you’re in luck – Patterson has the prescription!


what are controlled substances

Remember that helpful geometry rule from elementary school, “every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square?” If we were to take the same approach to controlled substances, it would go like this: Every controlled substance is a pharmaceutical, but not every pharmaceutical is a controlled substance.

The standard definition of a pharmaceutical is “a compound manufactured for use as a medicinal drug.” This can include items that don’t require prescriptions (like Tylenol or Advil), as well as things that do.

A controlled substance is a pharmaceutical drug whose sale is regulated by the government. Drugs that fall in this category are categorized into five “schedules” based on their potential for addiction: Schedule V drugs are the least addictive and schedule I drugs are the most addictive. An up-to-date and complete list of schedules is published annually in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s annual Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which you can view HERE.

Schedule I drugs are currently illegal and have no accepted medical uses in the United States. Schedule IIs are the most addictive legal drugs on the market, which is why regulations are introduced at this level – to ensure that the drugs are used for their intended purposes.


what types of controlled substances does patterson carryPatterson currently carries controlled substances in schedules II through V. Common uses for schedule II drugs include mid and post-procedure pain management. Common uses for schedule III through V drugs vary, and can include anti-anxiety medication, sedatives (taken pre-procedure in a controlled environment), and anti-seizure medications.


what documentation do you needAs we mentioned earlier, certain documentation is required during the controlled substance ordering process in order to ensure that these drugs are used solely for their intended purposes:

Valid Copy of Your DEA License & Registration

The DEA website provides all of the forms and instructions you may need on their website. New applicants can CLICK HERE to be directed to the web page with this detailed information. Once the paperwork is complete, it will need to be sent to your nearest Patterson branch so that we can enter the information into our system.

Know Your Customer Questionnaire

The Know Your Customer Questionnaire (“KYC questionnaire”) can be obtained from, and filled out with, your Patterson representative. Your rep will also be able to review the document with you and verify that it has been properly completed. After both customer and Patterson rep sign off on the form, it will be entered into our system.

DEA 222 Paperwork (Specifically for Schedule II Drugs)

If your office plans to order this type of drug regularly, you can apply for your DEA electronic signature and subsequently file an “Express 222” form through Patterson, which will expedite the ordering process.

If you prefer not to take this expedited route, you can fill out a paper DEA 222 form and send it to your assigned Patterson fulfillment center. Click the image below for a full-size version of our fulfillment center map.

controlled substances fulfilment center map


how do you complete your controlled substances order

Once your KYC Questionnaire and DEA License & Paperwork have been sent to your local Patterson branch, our customer service representatives will file them and make sure everything is in order. After that, you’re ready to order using your preferred method: either directly through your Patterson rep, or electronically through our website!

To Locate Controlled Substances on our Website:

  • Visit
  • Click on the “Ordering” tab
  • Select “Pharmaceuticals”
  • Select the appropriate category

screen grab of ordering controlled substances onlineScreen grab of how to locate controlled substances on the Patterson Dental website.

**Tip for online ordering: If you prefer to do a quick search using the search bar, type in the specific name of the drug versus a general term like “pain killer.” Also be sure that everything is spelled correctly!

additional controlled substances resources

  • More information on Patterson’s controlled substances program can be found on a dedicated resource page on our website, HERE.
  • If you prefer speaking to someone directly, you can locate your nearest Patterson branch and representative HERE.
  • The DEA has an extensive Q&A about pharmaceuticals on their website. You may review its contents HERE.

Hopefully the purchase process for pharmaceuticals has become a little clearer and you feel confident and empowered to start your controlled substances order through Patterson. Remember, you can order non-controlled substance prescription medications through our site as well. If there is anything we can help with, please feel free to leave comments and questions below!

Copy Credit: Aleksandra Sobic

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