How Wisdom Teeth Surgery Fuels Addiction

surgery fuels addiction

Wisdom tooth surgery is a common procedure for many teens and young adults, but this surgery may be the doorway to opioid dependency and addiction.

When dentists prescribe opioid painkillers for treatment of pain associated with wisdom tooth surgery, many young people are at risk of developing debilitating opioid addictions. Our opioid detox professionals explore the connection between wisdom teeth surgery and addiction along with alternatives to this dangerous prescription.

How Getting Wisdom Teeth Removed Increases Risks of Opioid Addiction

Studies show that opioid prescriptions written to those who have never taken prescription painkillers increase the risk of opioid addiction. In a recent study of 15,000 patients aged 16-25, 6% of those who were prescribed opioids following dental surgery were diagnosed with opioid abuse disorder within one year of their prescription. [1] This opioid addiction statistic shows that dental surgery and subsequent prescribing of opioid painkillers can put patients at risk.

Alternatives to Opioid Painkillers

With recent studies identifying the strong connection between wisdom teeth surgery and painkiller addiction, dentists are exploring alternatives to prescription pills following dental surgery. Studies show that medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen actually work better than opioids when it comes to relieving pain after dental surgery. [2] Worse yet, any dental surgeries removing wisdom teeth (third molars) may not be as necessary as once believed. Reports show that of the 5 million people who have wisdom teeth removed annually, only 12% of the procedures are truly necessary. [3]

Treating Opioid Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid painkiller addiction, treatment is necessary. At Banyan Detox Stuart, we offer opiate detox and prescription pill detox programs to help patients find sobriety. Whether your addiction started with dental surgery or other factors, you need the right assistance to beat this dependency and find your sobriety.

Call 888-280-4763 to get started on finding sobriety.


  1. JAMA – Association of Opioid Prescriptions From Dental Clinicians for US Adolescents and Young Adults With Subsequent Opioid Use and Abuse
  2. Washington Post – Study: Dental painkillers may put young people at risk of opioid addiction
  3. NCBI – The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.