Glass Full/Glass Empty

When it comes to the dangers of opioid abuse, one Sonoma oral surgeon is really baring his teeth. Dr. Tyler Boynton of Sonoma Valley Oral Surgery & Dental Implants last week presented the Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley with a $500 donation to help the club’s teen members further develop their leadership skills and provide the club with additional means to offer youth opioid prevention services. As Boynton’s office described in an email to the Index-Tribune, the Boys & Girls Club serves youth up to age 18, when most kids in their teenage years are receiving wisdom teeth extractions and exposed to addictive opioid painkillers for the first time.

According to Boynton’s office, 5 million Americans get their wisdom teeth removed each year, and nearly 7 percent of teens and young adults who received an opioid prescription for the first time from a dental professional went on to refill their prescriptions that same year. More than 5 percent went on to abuse the painkillers.

Boynton is working to reduce the amount of opioids prescribed after oral surgery procedures, especially for youth after wisdom teeth extractions, by offering non-opioid pain medications.

Next time, he’ll take his skinny decaf latte to go. That might be the sentiment of one reader, whose recent visit to a Sonoma coffee shop was sour enough to curdle a dirty chai. According to Johnathan, all he did when the barista turned to the side as he ordered his drink was ask, “Would you please do me a favor and let (the) water sit in the cup while you fill the other thermos with hot water?”

When she didn’t acknowledge the request, says Johnathan, “I slightly elevated my voice” so she could hear.

“At which point she erupted (at me) to not yell at her,” he says.

Johnathan tried to smooth things over with a $6 tip, but she didn’t appreciate the gesture, he says. “When I asked if she’d received (the tip) she asked me to leave the store.”

Johnathan says he was so rattled, he left without his coffee and headed to the Starbucks at Safeway where the barista “let the hot water sit in the cup as I requested.”

Jason Walsh

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