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FAQ:  Sedation Dentistry

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Drug Abuse History interferes with Dental Sedation? My daughter is a recovering IV drug user (clean for 2 1/2 years, with no tendencies to start up).

She is having 4 wisdom teeth extracted and the oral surgeon's office indicates that they cannot put her to sleep to do this as it would have an adverse effect because of her past drug use. This sounds strange. Can you advise? ...Visitor from MI

I can understand your oral surgeon's reluctance to use narcotic medications to sedate your daughter during her wisdom teeth extractions.

Since she has been clean from drugs for 2 1/2 years they may not want to risk giving her the narcotics for fear of inducing a drug relapse. I can tell you that during my sedation training in the oral surgery department of a major inner city hospital, they treated many patients with IV sedation who had past histories of drug abuse.

Of course you want your daughter to be as comfortable as possible, but you will have to weigh the risks and benefits of the sedation medications.

Talk to the oral surgery group again about your concerns and see what other options they can offer. If you are set on having your daughter deeply sedated for her extractions, you may need to consult with a hospital based surgery group to see if your daughter is a candidate for that type of care.

Editorial Staff

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