Anytime you do something new in sobriety it pays to have a plan. Whether dental work causes you anxiety or the thought of needing pain medication to recover worries you, it’s possible to stay sober. Many sober addicts and alcoholics have safely navigated dental work and you can, too. Here are some tips as you approach your dental work:
- Tell your dentist your history of drug or alcohol abuse. It is important they understand your history so they can treat you accordingly. They can prescribe non-addictive pain medication and ensure they don’t offer other addictive medications to relax you.
- Bring a sober friend. Having dental work can be scary. Anytime an addict is in fear, there can be a desire to use something to take the edge off. Having a friend to hold your hand and offer moral support can take the edge off.
- Meditate. The sound of a drill may not induce relaxation in you. Close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere else. Go to a mountain stream or a beautiful beach. Focus on the beauty of your alternative location and breathe in the aromas.
- If pain medicine is required, ask if over the counter pain medication will be sufficient. Oftentimes Aleve, Ibuprofen, or Tylenol are sufficient to combat pain from dental work.
- Have a plan if prescription pain medication is needed. If you are having an invasive oral surgery, your dentist may recommend narcotic pain medication. First, ask yourself if you need the medication. If you do, work with your sponsor to create a tracking system. You might text him/her everyday with the medication you took. You can also have a friend or family member stay with you and give you each dose, so the temptation to take more than prescribed is halted.
- Share your fears. Share in a 12 step group, with a sponsor, or with a friend.
- Pray. If you are spiritual, asking for the divine to go with you and be with your during your treatment can be comforting.
- Have a stop signal. Work out a particular signal with your dentist, like raising your arm, which means you want him or her to stop for a break.
Having dental work sober can be scary. It can also be empowering. Taking care of your oral health is one more step in your road to recovery. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone.
There is freedom in recovery. Design For Change is changing lives one step at a time through a multifaceted treatment program and recovery services. Our 12 step based treatment programs offer a refuge from recovery bringing together families in the hope of sobriety. Call us today for information: (877) 267-3646