ADA Survey Finds Half of Dentists Say Patients Are High at Dental Appointments

A new study from the American Dental Association finds that more than half of dentists say that their patients show up to the appointment high on marijuana or another drug.

A new survey done by the American Dental Association (ADA) finds that 52% of dentists asked, reported patients coming to dental appointments high on marijuana or another drug, according to a press release from the ADA. This survey was done in 2 online questionnaires, one of them being 557 dentists and another being a representative survey of 1,006 consumers. These results don’t bode well for clinicians, according to ADA spokesperson Dr Tricia Quartey.

“Marijuana can lead to increased anxiety, paranoia, and hyperactivity, which could make the visit more stressful. It can also increase heart rate and has unwanted respiratory side effects, which increases the risk of using local anesthetics for pain control,” Dr Quartey said in the press release. “Plus, the best treatment options are always ones a dentist and patient decide on together. A clear head is essential for that.”

The survey also found that 56% of dentists reported limiting treatment to patients who were high and 46% of surveyed dentists reported the occasional need to increase anesthesia because of its effects and reactions with marijuana use.

This survey was done to invite discussion on marijuana use and oral health, which becomes more prevalent as recreational and medicinal marijuana use becomes more popular as it becomes legalized. Dr Quartey says that having a discussion between patient and doctor is important.

“If we ask, it’s because we’re here to keep you in the best health we can,” Dr Quartey said in the press release. “If you use it medicinally, we can work with your prescribing physician as part of your personal healthcare team.”