Dental Specialists of
South Loop

Patient Instructions

The Importance of Patient Prep and Aftercare

When you are undergoing a dental procedure, big or small, proper preparation and aftercare are paramount to ensuring your health and comfort. Injuries or infections may result if a patient neglects a doctor’s instructions before and/or after a dental treatment. On the other hand, if a doctor fails to properly inform a patient of his or her responsibilities, either out of neglect or lack of knowledge, then the doctor leaves their patient at risk.

Patient Instructions

Differing Instructions

Patient self-care varies depending on the procedure and the patient involved. There are pre and post-operative instructions, as well as those for endodontic procedures. It is necessary for patients to follow all relevant instructions to protect their own comfort and health.

Pre-sedation instructions typically include the following:

  • Report any and all medication allergies to your doctor.
  • If prescribed, take prescribed pre-surgical sedatives 1 hour before the appointment
  • Be certain to make plans with a reliable friend or family member to accompany you to and from your appointment if you are going to be sedated.
  • Do not eat six hours prior to your procedure. Clear liquids are ok to consume up to 1 hour before your appointment.
  • Unless told otherwise by your doctor, continuing taking all regularly prescribed medications.
  • Do not wear contact lenses during the procedure. Eyeglasses are mandatory.
  • Remove all nail polish. (A monitoring device will be placed on your finger during the procedure.)
  • Dress comfortably.
  • Ask your doctor any questions you have before the procedure begins.

Post-operative instructions generally include the following:

  • Take all prescribed medications as directed following your procedure (this includes antibiotics).
  • Do not take any kind of pain medication on an empty stomach.
  • If taking over-the-counter medication for pain, such as Ibuprofen and Tylenol, be certain to discuss the methods of using these medications together with your doctor so you encounter no ill effects.
  • Report any medication allergies to your doctor.
  • Ice should be applied to reduce swelling around the surgical site for the first twenty-four hours after surgery.
  • Gentle heat should be applied to the area around the surgical site after twenty-four hours if swelling persists.
  • If excessive bleeding occurs from the surgical site, do not rinse your mouth, do keep your head elevated, apply gentle pressure to the area with moist gauze for twenty minutes or more, add a wet teabag to the gauze if necessary, and contact your doctor if the bleeding continues.
  • Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth that was operated on.
  • A dressing will be applied to the surgical site. If it comes off or becomes overly uncomfortable, contact your doctor.
  • Avoid eating hard foods.
  • Do not consume hot foods or liquids for about an hour after the procedure.
  • Do not smoke for at least two weeks prior to your surgery.
  • Do not rinse for the first twenty-four hours after surgery. Once this time has elapsed, you may use a special antibiotic rinse.
  • Do not brush the surgical site.

Endodontic procedures require different but often similar self-care. The following is a list of general instructions patients may need to follow.

  • Contact your doctor with all questions regarding your procedure.
  • Do not stop taking any regularly prescribed medications unless your doctor orders otherwise.
  • Eat a full meal prior to the procedure, unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
  • If you are prescribed any premedication, do not forget to take it the accurate amount of time before your procedure.
  • If able, you may take Ibuprofen or Aleve before your procedure to help reduce inflammation. Take two tablets two to four hours prior.
  • Do not chew food on the side of your mouth where the procedure was completed until the area is properly protected at the end of your treatment.
  • If swelling or chronic pain increases or develops prior to surgery, contact your doctor.
  • Be sure to set up your next appointment for a checkup within the following month.

Dental Specialists of South Loop

Contact Dental Specialists of South Loop for surgical dental procedures and endodontic dental treatment. We will make certain you have all the necessary tools and information to take care of your teeth prior to and after your procedure.

Call us today at 312-356-4700 for our Chicago office.

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South Loop Dental Specialists

850 South Wabash, Suite 240
Chicago, IL 60605