The downside of marijuana and dental appointments

The effects of legalized marijuana on dental health may not be something people are aware of. However, dentists and the American Dental Association (ADA) are very aware of it.

Survey reveals data about the effect of legalized marijuana on dental health

The ADA conducted a survey that found more than half of dentists report patients coming to dental appointments while high on marijuana or other drugs. As additional states legalize marijuana, patients are disclosing more openly their marijuana use.

Patients often use it to relax prior to appointments. However, marijuana use limits the treatment that dentists can provide. In many instances, it results in having to cancel the appointment and reschedule for a time when the patient is not high.

Why is marijuana detrimental for treatment?

Dentists may have to treat patients with higher doses of anesthesia in order to numb their mouths. Instead of reducing anxiety, patients experience greater anxiety due to pain. This occurs if the anesthesia isn’t adequately numbing the patient. Marijuana can cause higher heart rates, hyperactivity and anxiety. Given the fact that local anesthetics often contain epinephrine, this factor could be life-threatening.

If you use marijuana, it is crucial to inform your dentist, so you can receive proper care.

Another factor is that marijuana use can compromise the patient’s ability to give consent. A person under the influence of a drug may not be in a state of mind to understand what the treatment involves. Therefore, they would not be able to give consent.

In addition, after applying dental procedures, marijuana can lead to increased bleeding and other dental complications.

Marijuana users are also more prone to dry mouth and periodontal disease. Increased risk for cavities is another dental problem because in general, such patients have poorer oral hygiene and dental health.

(Reference: US News)

Do you have concerns about your dental health?

We’re happy to answer your questions and discuss your concerns about dental care. To make an appointment, call Hutto Hippo Family Dental at (512) 806-7740.