The Effects of Drug Use on Oral Health
The physical effects of drug usage are commonly thought of as weight loss, thinning hair, or skin care problems. However, one of the most profound effects is dental. At Destination Hope, clients are often eager to get dental care after seeing the damage drugs have done to their teeth.
Dr. Ari Socher of Renumi Mobile helps take care of those in recovery who are in dire need of dental care. Renumi Mobile is a mobile dentistry practice, which means people in recovery can get the dental care they need to not only feel good and look good.
Q-How long have you working in dentistry?
For nine years.
Why are you so committed to doing what you do?
I have family members who are in recovery and am familiar with the challenges people in recovery can face. The risk of relapse is always high and if I can help make the recovery process easier by helping them look good and regain their confidence, I will. Confidence and self-esteem are important in the recovery process. By providing them with dental care, it may give them more confidence in staying with the program.
Each week, about how many patients do you see and what services are provided?
We help about 50 clients each week. Some of the services provided include cleanings, dental bonding and fillings, extractions and prosthetic tooth replacement, and oral cancer screenings. I have a background in military screenings and helped soldiers get ready for deployment by taking care of their dental health before they went overseas. Similarly, I now help clients get ready to face the real world full of confidence.
What makes Renumi Mobile unique?
As the only mobile dental office in South Florida, we serve those in recovery at dozens of treatment centers in the area. Convenience is a big factor as we can go directly to a client instead of having them come to us.
When working with people in recovery, what are some of the signs you often notice from long-term drug use?
Tooth decay, broken teeth, gum disease, discoloration of the teeth or gums, and cavities are common.
Are there particular drugs that create this damage to the mouth?
Many of these drugs can cause users to grind their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, or cause xerostomia, which is dry mouth. MDMA, speed, ecstasy, and meth often lead to both these conditions. Along with drug usage, poor self-care and malnutrition can worsen the dental effects.
Is there a success story that sticks out to you?
Yes. We helped a 65-year-old client named Jack S. who was from Newark, New Jersey. He was involved in a terrible accident and hit by a vehicle. His life was falling apart and he was getting help at Destination Hope in the Mature Adult Program. He couldn’t get a job because of his appearance and I knew that if he couldn’t work, the relapse risk would be worse. We helped him and he’s now doing very well.
How can someone contact you for dental health services?
Call 1-844-4-RENUMI or visit www.renumimobile.com.