Drug Use During Dental Treatment

Depressed Young Man

Discuss All Drug and Medication Use to Avoid Harmful Reactions

Let’s face it, some people take anti-depressants, some are prescribed antibiotics. Some smoke marijuana, and fewer, thankfully, use cocaine, methamphetamine or other drugs. But here in the office, the message remains the same for all. Tell us what you’re taking, and when.

Why? Because the drugs we administer during dental procedures might have unforeseen interactions with the drugs you’re already taking, whether they be legal prescriptions or illicit “street” drugs. So let us know any time you change medications, take on a new prescription, or take up a recreational drug habit. No matter what your lifestyle choices, we’re here to help your oral health.

Furthermore, those who use cocaine or methamphetamine often experience some unhealthy consequences. If you “premedicate” yourself—use before coming to the dental office to cope with the stress—some of the anesthetics you may receive could contribute to a dangerous increase in heart rate and blood pressure. If you undergo oral surgery and use cocaine upon returning home, postoperative bleeding may be a problem.

More direct oral health consequences are:

  • Damage to the nasal septum from “snorting”
  • Infections of the mucous membrane
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) and decrease in saliva pH
  • Increase in cavities and periodontal (gum) disease
  • Apathy towards oral hygiene, diet, postoperative instructions, and follow-up appointments

But just because you have xerostomia, periodontal disease, or a lot of cavities, we won’t assume you have a drug problem. These conditions have a variety of non-drug related causes too. We’re here to help you achieve and maintain good oral health, so if you have any questions or would like to discuss this subject further, please let us know.

About Dr. William J. Black

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the UCLA School of Dentistry where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Black has 8 children, works actively with the Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys gardening.


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