Before and After your appointment
You probably have a lot of questions about what will happen before and after your appointment. We are here to help! Please read about what to expect before and after your appointment for each of the possible treatment options we offer. We also have special tips on how to make your child’s dental visit go well.
Before your appointment
Eat a light meal before your appointment
You may be receiving local anesthesia which will numb part of your mouth.
You may not be able to eat for a few hours after your appointment.
Choose a light meal; fruit, yogurt or a sandwich are a few examples.
Take your medications as directed
Unless previously discussed with your dentist and/or physician, please take all of your routine medications as directed.
Don’t use recreational drugs
Do not use recreational drugs (marijuana) for 12 hours prior to your appointment.
Certain recreational drugs can lead to potentially dangerous side effects when used with local anesthesia.
If you are sick, call us
If you are feeling fever, chills, flu-like, or COVID-like symptoms within 24 hours prior to your appointment, call us. We may recommend rescheduling your visit.
Before your child’s visit
We are committed to serving your child’s dental needs to the highest standard. We value your trust and cooperation, and we pledge to do everything in our power to keep your child safe and comfortable during their treatment.
Patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
You may choose whether or not you accompany your child to the treatment area for his or her appointment. We have seen that many children do better without parents in the room.
We ask that siblings remain in the waiting area for the duration of the appointment. If siblings are too young to wait in the reception area unsupervised, please remain with them.
If you choose to be present in the operatory during your child’s treatment, we ask you to follow these guidelines to ensure a positive and successful visit:
Allow us to prepare your child.
Be supportive of our practice’s terminology.
We don’t use “needles” or “shots,” we use “dropper” and “sleepy juice”.
We don’t use “drills” we “clean,” “brush,” and “scrub” teeth.
We don’t “pull” or “yank” teeth, we “wiggle” them.
“Be brave” may not be a useful phrase. This tells the child that there is something to fear. Instead, encourage your child to “be a good helper”.
Please be a silent observer. This way, we can maintain communication with your child. Children become confused when more than one person is trying to give them instructions.
After your Appointment
The area where you had the anesthetic placed may be sore. This soreness may last for a few days.
Your lip, tongue, cheek, and/or gums may be numb for a few hours. Use caution when eating on the side that is numb to avoid pain, swelling and damage to the tissue.
For children, use extra caution and monitor them closely to prevent them from biting or playing with their lip. Swelling and pain may result if they play with their lip or bite it accidentally while it is still numb.
If you have numbness that lasts more than 1 day, please call our office.
Pain Relievers are to be taken as directed only as needed for pain. It may be a good idea to take the first dose before the numbness wears off. This medication might make you feel nauseous, drowsy or constipated. If these or any other reaction is making you uncomfortable, please call us.
Antibiotics fight against infection and must be started today until all the medicine is finished. Follow directions as prescribed, but call us if the medication is making you uncomfortable. Women: Oral contraceptives may lose effectiveness with antibiotics, so use alternative methods of birth control for now.
If you have had a silver filling, avoid eating any hard or sticky foods for the rest of the day. It takes a few hours for the filling to harden to its final stage.
Fillings on front teeth are the most delicate, because they are placed on the most thin teeth. Avoid biting hard and sticky foods with your front teeth. Keep away from biting out of an apple, corn on the cob, or pizza crust. These types of food can break off front teeth fillings.
You can resume brushing twice a day and flossing daily immediately.
You may be sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages for up to a few weeks after a filling has been placed. A tooth is more likely to be sensitive if it had a deeper cavity.
If you have pain with biting after a few days, call our office. The filling may need to be adjusted.
Your gums may be sore for a few days after treatment, depending on the location of the filling.
For pain, take an over the counter medication as directed. Choose an over the counter medication that is appropriate to your dental condition and does not interfere with any medical conditions you may have.
If you are experiencing any sensitivity or pain for more than a few weeks, give our office a call. Further work may be required.
Bleeding or minor oozing for next several hours is normal. Bite on the moist cotton gauze for an hour and then replace it every hour with a fresh one or a wet tea bag. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after that, contact us.
Pain is normal after surgery. Any pain medicine you may have at home may be taken for minor pain, but moderate to severe pain may be alleviated by a prescription from the doctor.
Swelling is normal after surgery and there are ways to help keep it to a minimum. Starting today, place an ice pack (a small plastic bag with ice) on your face over the area of surgery for 20 to 30 minutes on and 20 to 30 minutes off, continuously, until bedtime tonight. If you do not have an ice pack, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables, etc. Stay cool and comfortable — avoid hot showers, hot kitchens, prolonged periods in the sun, etc.
Avoid all tobacco products, alcohol (including many mouthwashes) and hydrogen peroxide for 3-5 days. These will only slow down the healing process.
Avoid negative pressure (drinking through straws, taking deep puffs when smoking, etc.) since this may cause the newly formed blood clot to come loose causing a dry socket
Eat whatever feels comfortable to you. Plenty of fluids (water, juices, milk, sports drinks, etc.) and soft foods (soup, mashed potatoes, Jell-O®, etc.) are easier to consume the first day or so.
Rinsing may begin tomorrow. Mix 1 cup of warm water with half-teaspoon salt and rinse your mouth after every meal/snack for 7 days.
Brush and floss as normal, being careful in the area of surgery for a few days.
Crowns and bridges
Your gums may be sore for a few days. During the impression for your crown or bridge, your gums may have had a string pushed up against it to get the most accurate impression. This may cause discomfort after the anesthetic wears off.
If you have a temporary crown or bridge placed, use extreme caution eating with it. Avoid sticky and hard foods. If possible avoid eating in the area until you have your permanent restoration.
Brush twice a day like normal. Avoid flossing directly in front and behind the temporary crown and bridge.
If your temporary crown or bridge falls off, contact our office. To protect the tooth and ensure a proper fitting final restoration, it is important to maintain the temporary restoration in your mouth properly.
It may take several weeks to be accustomed to your new denture. It is important to wear your denture regularly and take them out at night.
Don’t panic if you feel that food has lost its flavor or feeling to temperature. Right now, your mind is receiving strong signals from your mouth about your dentures, which overpower the messages from your taste buds. After you get accustomed to dentures, your mind will find a better balance and your sense of taste and feeling will improve. Avoid hot foods that may burn your mouth.
Start with soft foods with your new denture. Chew half of it on the back-left side of your mouth and the other half on the back-right side. This will even out the pressure on your dentures.
Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling dentures.
Brush and rinse your dentures daily. Clean with a denture cleaner. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleaners, bleach and many toothpastes may be too harsh for your dentures and should not be used.
Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. However, if your denture has metal attachments, the attachments could tarnish if placed in a soaking solution.