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Why are dentists so narcotic happy?

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Crescita posted 6/27/2013 14:08 PM

When I had my wisdom teeth out my dentist prescribed hydrocodone, I took one and spent the next 5 hours throwing up. They offered to write me a script for a different narcotic, but Advil worked just fine thank you very much.

My grandma just had a filling, a FILLING, and they gave her a script for Vicodin!

It seems absurd to me that the default is to prescribe an addictive narcotic when an OTC will do.

GabyBaby posted 6/27/2013 14:23 PM

Some docs/dentists get "incentives" for prescribing drugs from various pharmaceutical companies.
I also think that, more and more, people are turning to pills and powders lest they be the least bit uncomfortable. How inconvenient!!

I'm with you as far as drugs go. I dont like being "out of my head" and will rarely take even Tylenol if I can just tough it out.

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 2:23 PM, June 27th (Thursday)]

Sad in AZ posted 6/27/2013 14:23 PM

If you are sensitive or they hit a nerve, dental pain is unbearable. The problem with the narcs is that you have to eat before taking them, and when you're in pain, you can't eat.

It only made me sick once, after a root canal. You may be allergic.

But I agree, if you don't need it, don't take it.

gonnabe2016 posted 6/27/2013 21:44 PM

A couple of years ago I went in to the doc for a sore throat. I had strep. Doc wanted to give me a scrip for Vicodin. I said "Doc, I have a sore throat. I don't want Vicodin"

I think that nowadays docs/dentists are caught between a rock and a hard place. If they don't prescribe pain medicine, then they aren't being sensitive to their patient's level of pain....and if they are too *free* with prescribing, then they are too cavalier about the addictive nature. It's a no-win situation for them, IMO.

purplejacket4 posted 6/27/2013 23:22 PM

Haven't you heard? Pain is the fifth vital sign and docs and dentists can get in trouble for not treating pain adequately.

Generally the procedures and meds you describe are what we usually use. However if you're opiate naive the dose needs to be drastically cut back so that you don't just puke. When we are prescribing we forget to ask. Sorry. I've been guilty of that myself.

gonnabe2016 posted 6/27/2013 23:43 PM

docs and dentists can get in trouble for not treating pain adequately.

*****told ya so*****

StrongerOne posted 6/27/2013 23:56 PM

My dentist is not. I'd be concerned with any provider that pushes unnecessary meds. OTH, did s/he offer the scrip for just in case?

When I had my wisdom teeth removed in college, I *needed* pain meds. Good thing I was on spring break!

thinkingclear posted 6/28/2013 12:09 PM

I think that nowadays docs/dentists are caught between a rock and a hard place. If they don't prescribe pain medicine, then they aren't being sensitive to their patient's level of pain....and if they are too *free* with prescribing, then they are too cavalier about the addictive nature. It's a no-win situation for them, IMO.

This is pretty darn accurate. Most providers are just trying to help and sometimes have limited tools to do so. Since the addition of the 'fifth vital sign' campaign, the use of narcotics in the US has dramatically increased. The US uses 99% of the hydrocodone supply in the world. We don't represent 99% of the population or 99% of the pain in the world. They are over-utilized, but generally done so with good intentions.

Crescita posted 6/28/2013 13:01 PM

Hmm, I suppose it is a tough call for providers. Don't mean to put all the blame on them, patients should be careful with prescriptions too. I've known people that have been addicted so seeing all these extra pills being circulated just makes me nervous.

metamorphisis posted 6/28/2013 13:44 PM

I don't see this too much. The practitioners I know are very careful about providing narcotics of any kind.
I just had an infected wisdom tooth and was in agony. I called and they prescribed me amoxicillin for the infection and a high dose of ibuprofen for the pain. It's all I wanted.
Mind you.. if the nerve was exposed I would have been waiting at his door screaming for something stronger

Our dentist is really good about not over prescribing

One thing I think is completely out of control is the prescriptions for benzo's. Often the people taking them have no idea how addictive they are or that their anxiety is going to get about a billion times worse once they try to get off a high dose. I do think patients have a responsibility to educate themselves about what they are taking as well.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 1:44 PM, June 28th (Friday)]

sadtoo posted 6/28/2013 14:50 PM

I for one am glad they will give them if needed.

When I was younger we had a dentist who wasn't real great. the fillings that I received back then were not done properly. The tooth was drilled too deep, so most of those teeth have now abscessed and required root canals and crowns. There is NO PAIN worse than an abscessed tooth. And the ones that are toward the front on the top, go right up into your sinus cavity and into your brain. It feels like someone is driving a railroad spike into your brain. Please. Kill. Me. Now. Type pain. OMG.

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