General Instructions

Before Treatment:

  • Since your treatment will be completed using local anesthesia, there are no restrictions related to food or liquids prior to your visit.  Eat normally and take all medications as prescribed by your physician without altering your normal routine.
  • Although pain medications may reduce your pain, they can also complicate diagnosing the problem.  If possible, avoid taking pain medication at least 6 hours before your visit.  As soon as the problem is diagnosed, local anesthesia will be given to relieve any painful symptoms.
  • Good oral hygiene speeds recovery and improves healing results.  Please brush and floss thoroughly immediately before your visit and maintain good hygiene thereafter.
  • If a surgical procedure is performed, please make arrangements to rest from normal activities (e.g., work, other responsibilities, exercise, etc.) for 24 hours.  Use the prescribed mouthrinse twice daily starting 2 days before the surgery.  Unless advised otherwise by your physician, take the recommended anti-inflammatory medication (usually 800 mg ibuprofen) 1 hour before surgery.

After Treatment:

  • Do not drink alcohol until you are no longer taking medications.
  • Different types of treatment may require different after-procedure care.  Please see the Home Care Instructions for the type of treatment you receive.

Pain Management:

  • Avoid placing medications (e.g., aspirin) near your tooth.  This can burn your gum tissues and will not provide adequate relief of symptoms.
  • It is normal to experience tenderness following treatment as the tissues around your tooth heal from inflammation and/or infection.  Your jaw may also be tender from keeping it open during treatment.  These symptoms are temporary and are usually well-controlled by taking the medications listed below.  After one week, only 5% of patients report discomfort is still present and they rate their pain level as mild.  It is normal for the treated tooth to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time.
  • Unless advised otherwise by your physician, pain is best controlled by taking two medications: 1) An anti-inflammatory drug to minimize pain and inflammation in the tissues around your tooth (usually 600-800mg of ibuprofen every 6-8 hours); and 2) A medication that acts in the central nervous system to decrease pain perception (usually 325-500mg of Tylenol taken 3 hours after the ibuprofen).  In the unlikely event you experience significant swelling or severe, persistent pain while taking these medications as prescribed during your visit, or if you cannot take these medications, please contact our office immediately.  Other medications may be prescribed but they often also cause some unpleasant side effects.