Many dentists (and doctors as well) routinely prescribe pain medication without knowledge of their patients’ past (or present) addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. May patients are afraid to discuss their prior substance abuse history for fear of being judged, handed over to authorities, or due to shame and guilt.
Trust is Critical
When you’re new in recovery, it isn’t always easy to share about your history of substance abuse. In fact, it can be downright scary. Dr. Alexander and his staff understand that, and we also know that prescribing certain medication for dental pain without these facts might just trigger a relapse. And that’s the last thing either of us want.
That’s why it’s critical that you understand that there is no judgment in our office; we are here only to support you, encourage you, help you and restore you to dental health and wellness. We understand that when we listen to our patients in recovery without judgment, we create an empathetic, honest, and open relationship that is mutually beneficial.
Dr. Alexander practices a conservative approach to pain management during and after any dental procedure. Starting with the sequenced delivery of Novocain and continuing through each procedure, Dr. Alexander is steadfast in his efforts to minimize or even eliminate any pain typically encountered by dental patients during some dental treatments.
Alternatives to Opiate Painkillers
Dr. Alexander is a firm believer that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, in combination are effective anti-inflammatories for relief of dental pain. When working with drug-sensitive patients in recovery, prescribing any medication that has the potential for abuse is definitely to be avoided. Combinations of acetaminophen and ibuprofen are proven just as effective to manage acute dental pain as more habit forming prescription painkillers.
Opiate medications carry an inherent risk for chemical dependency. Dr. Alexander is acutely aware that those in recovery can relapse when prescribed these types of medication to manage pain. He makes it a point to discuss drug-free options to deal with pain with every patient, but he is particularly focused on helping his patients in recovery feel safe and understood.