If you are in need of treatment from a dentist, it is important to read through these patient instructions so that you can set yourself up for a successful procedure and recovery.
Our doctors and staff will go over instructions with you before, during, and after your visit. This guide is intended to supplement those instructions.
If you experience severe pain at any time, please contact us immediately.
Speak To Your Dentist Beforehand
It is very important that you understand what will be happening during your treatment.
We will make sure to communicate everything to you and any parents or guardians present. Throughout the entire process, we will be constantly updating you and making sure that you know what’s happening at every moment.
Parents and guardians can stay beside their family members if treatment allows.
If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please raise them. If there are any conditions, medications, or prescriptions that we should be aware of, please inform us the first chance you get.
Unless otherwise specified…
For infants under 12 months:
- Avoid formula-feeding 6 hours before the scheduled appointment time.
- Avoid breastfeeding 4 hours prior to the scheduled appointment time.
For all children:
- Avoid solid food and non-clear liquids starting midnight of the treatment day.
- Give only clear liquids two hours before scheduled appointment time.
If you have any specific questions, please consult with your dentist regarding your diet before your treatment date.
What To Expect Following Treatment
You may require special care and attention over the next few days. Please follow the instructions below and contact us with any questions or if unusual symptoms develop.
Common Symptoms and Care
Numbness: If you had anesthesia applied, your mouth may be numb for approximately two to four hours. During this time, be careful to not accidentally bite or injure your cheeks, lips, or tongue.
Bleeding: Bleeding will have been controlled before you are discharged. Some occasional oozing may occur in the form of pink or blood-tinged saliva. If that happens, Hold gauze with firm pressure against the surgical site until oozing has stopped. You may need to change the gauze or repeat this step. Contact us if bleeding continues for more than two hours.
Surgical Site Care: Do not disturb the surgical site the day of treatment. Do not stretch lips or cheeks to inspect the area. Do not rinse vigorously. Do not use mouthwash. Do not prove the area with fingers or other objects. Beginning the following day, you may rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water) after meals.
Sutures: Two different types of sutures (stitches) may be placed to help control bleeding and promote healing. Your sutures may either dissolve on their own, or will be removed at your follow up visit. If sutures fall out during the first 48 hours, contact our office.
Daily Activities: Depending on the type of treatment, we recommend having you avoid physical exercise and exertion on that day.
Diet: Until healing is more established, avoid drinking from straws or anything that can be sucked. Avoid carbonated liquids. Avoid hard foods, such as nuts or popcorn, that may get lodged into surgical areas. Drink more fluids to help avoid dehydration. Cold and soft foods are ideal for the first 24 hours after treatment. By the second day, consistency of food can be progressed.
Oral Hygiene: Keeping the mouth clean is essential. Teeth and gums may be gently brushed and flossed. However, avoid stimulating the surgical site. Soreness may deter brushing. Do your best to keep your mouth clean within the bounds of comfort.
Pain: Some discomfort is expected. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenon), naproxen (Aleve), or ibuprofen (Advil) before numbness wears off. Follow instructions provided with the pain medication. Do NOT give aspirin to children. Aspirin has been linked with Reye’s Syndrome, which can cause brain and liver swelling in children.
Prescriptions: Take prescribed medication as directed by the doctor.
Be Particularly Watchful For:
Swelling: Slight swelling, inflammation, and occasionally, bruising may occur on treatment area for the next two days. Ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours to decrease those symptoms. If swelling persists after 24 hours, we recommend warm and moist compresses (10 minutes on then 10 minutes off). If swelling continues or occurs after 48 hours, call our office.
Fever: A slight fever (up to 100.5° F) is not uncommon for the first 48 hours after surgeries. If a higher fever develops or persists longer than 48 hours, call our office.
Dry Sockets: Dry sockets can occur after an extraction of a permanent tooth. If the blood clot prematurely dissolves or gets dislodged, this can expose the nerves and cause persistent pain. This typically occurs on the third to fifth day after treatment. To prevent this, avoid anything that can lead to sucking (straws), avoid sports that may knock out the clot, and avoid brushing the area immediately around the extraction site. If you suspect you have a dry socket, call our office.
Any severe pain or discomfort, call our office immediately.
Questions about the instructions?
Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have.