Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is a pain medicine consultation required if I used to be an addict?"
I used to have a drug addiction but have been clean 4 years. I am 30 and having my top wisdom teeth removed. Will I need a consultation?
Drug addiction is a chronic disease and so as you know, there is always a risk for relapse, especially in the setting as you have described. During wisdom tooth removal, you are given both iv sedation, also known as conscious sedation, as well as local anesthesia around the wisdom teeth prior to the removal of your wisdom teeth. Generally, pain occurs after the removal for approximately three to seven days. During this time, your dentist may prescribe some pain medications such as percocet or vicodin to alleviate your pain during these times. With a history of addiction, it is recommended that you discuss the removal of your wisdom teeth with a pain management specialist as they will be able to monitor you and evaluate you during this time. They may also change the prescription for your pain medications to one of a number of medications that have been specially made to block abuse of these medications by taking them in ways that they were not made to be taken in (such as snorting these drugs). In general, in any setting where there is the possibility of taking pain medications, it is important that you discuss this with a pain management specialist to help you avoid relapse.
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