Treatment while in recovery

I have a problem. I need extensive work on my teeth, and I get really freaked out about going to the dentist. This wouldn’t be a problem for most people, but I am on methadone maintenance for opiate addiction. The last time I tried to get  some of this work done, the dentist refused to give me any pain medication at all after I told him about the methadone. There is just no way I can face the kind of work I need done without pain medication. We are talking about multiple root canal treatments.

What should I do? I tried to have him call the doctor at the clinic, even gave hime the phone number, but he refused. Obviously I need to go to a different dentist, but how do I avoid going through this all again?

Thank you in advance for your advice and help.

Marcy in Los Angeles

Dear Marcy,

Many dentists will not risk attracting the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration. You’ll need to find a dentist who is more concerned with being compassionate.

You need to locate a dentist who does sedation dentistry. Talk to them honestly about what they can do to help you with pain, both during and after surgery. Your instinct to have them talk to the doctor who is in charge of your methadone care was a good one–your doctor may be your greatest support in getting a dentist on board to get you the treatment you need.

The office of Baton Rouge dentist Dr. Perry support the provision of this blog.

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