Recovering addict needing dental treatment

I am recovering from an opiate addiction and I am currently on methadone maintenance. I really need to get into a dentist as soon as possible since my teeth are in very bad shape. I have extensive dental work that is required. The last dentist I visited wouldn’t give me any pain medication once they learned I was on methadone. I encouraged him to contact the clinic I attend so they could grant permission. My doctor and counselor would have been more than willing to discuss this. In the past I’ve dealt with serious dental anxiety too. Can you recommend a way that I can proceed in attempting to get a dentist to help me. I desperately want to be out of pain.

-Vince from Oregon


Unfortunately many dentists and doctors alike are afraid of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Sometimes it is easier for a dentist to refuse treatment than deal with potential issues that may come out of prescribing pain medication. Some dentists tell about times where they got in hot water with the DEA just because they exercised compassion. Sadly, the patient is the one that suffers as this happens more often.

A good starting point in finding a compassionate dentist would be to find one that practices sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry. Be upfront about your situation and your request for post-operative pain medication. Many dentists are empathetic and genuinely want to help people. Keep looking. You will find someone that can help.

This post was provided by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.