I am on a methadone treatment plan for addiction recovery. I need a lot of work on my teeth. The problem I have is in getting dentists to care about any pain, especially post-operative pain I’m in. It has made it almost impossible for me to go to the dentist to get significant work done. But, the situation will only get worse if I don’t do something. Even offering my clinic number and asking them to speak with both my counselor and doctor has not done anything to sway my dentist. What do I do?
First, let me say it is awesome that you are working on your addiction. That is huge and your life will be much better for it in the long run. I know it feels excruciating right now, but in a few years you will be glad you did it. As for your treatment issues, what you are bumping up against is fear. Dentists have a fear of the D.E.A. which can completely crush their practice. What you need is a dentist who has more compassion than fear. I would start by looking for a sedation dentist. They tend to have more of an empathy for patients in your situation. There will be some real side benefits to this for you as well.
First, when you have had painful experiences at the dentist it tends to up your dental anxiety which inversely affect the effectiveness of the local anesthetic you get. This makes the appointment even more painful. The only way to break the cycle is to reduce the anxiety. Dental sedation will do this for you.
Second, if you get something like oral conscious sedation, it will allow the dentist to get more work done at each sitting. This will get you caught up on your needed dental work much faster.
I’m going to suggest when all this is done that you give yourself some kind of treat to improve your smile even more, such as teeth whitening. It is the least expensive cosmetic treatment and gives you real bang for your buck, making you look years younger.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.