Dentistry and Drug Addiction

Patients who have struggled with drug addiction often have severe dental problems ranging from severe tooth decay due to reduced salivary flow, poor eating and hygiene habits, to excessively worn down teeth due to clenching and grinding.

In order to treat these patients it is imperative that all factors contributing to the loss of tooth structure be recognized. A correct diagnosis of the dental problems is imperative so that the patient's mouth can be restored correctly. This type of treatment does not simply address each tooth individually, but looks at all teeth, the supporting tissues, the bone, muscles and the jaw joint. As with other full mouth rehabilitation cases, it is critical that all these contributing structures be reviewed and addressed. Once the correct treatment has been outlined, it is important that every tooth needing treatment with a dental restoration receive one with exceptional fit and attention to detail. It must be understood that in the routine dental patient, the harsh oral environment is already taxing the longevity of the dental restoration. In the patient struggling with past or present drug addiction, the insult to the teeth and dental restorations are even greater. Therefore, the dentistry must be done with extreme attention to detail. When these demands are not met by the dental practitioner, the results are catastrophic to the health and longevity of the dental patient's teeth.

John Gonzalez, DDS