Post by Ken Blake
The reason this question comes to mind is that I just had outpatient
surgery for my spinal stenosis,and I was given a prescription for
oxycodone in case I needed it for the pain (I haven't needed it and
haven't taken any). The container for the pills is marked "opioid."
About three months ago I developed a persistent toothache that, while
not severe, was continuous enough to make it almost impossible for me to
sleep...when the weekend was over, I was able to get in to see a dentist
who pronounced exactly the cause I was anticipated: gum infection to be
correct via root canal...the root was deep enough and curved enough that
he had to refer me to an endodontist to complete the job, and the latter
specialist wrote me a pain prescription for ibuprofen plus hydrocodone
before sending me back to the original dentist to put a temporary crown
on the tooth until a permanent one could be fashioned....
Between the original work, the continuation by a specialist in another
office almost three miles away, and the return visit with the drilling
and grinding to prepare the tooth for the crown, I received three sets
of anesthetic injections in the same place over a period of about four
hours...the bruising from those injections was the only source of pain
once the root canal was completed, and I was able to control that pain
with a couple of over-the-counter acetaminophen tablets, and two days
later all the pain was gone....
I never took the opioid prescription...in actual fact, I never even
bothered to have it filled (so I can't confirm Mr Blake's observation
that the container would have carried a special warning)...I can say
with the voice of experience that health-care professionals do in fact
write prescriptions that are not strictly necessary....
(That said, I still have never found a doctor willing to prescribe
leeches for my ongoing high blood pressure condition)....r