WELCOME TO OUR PATIENT CENTER.
THIS PAGE IS FULL OF HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. HERE, YOU ARE ABLE TO:
-Download and print all registration documents
-Learn important pre and post-surgical protocols
-Better understand the role of your insurance plan
The following are some instructions and helpful hints that will help you during your postoperative period. If you have any questions during your postoperative period, please do not hesitate to call the office. After business hours you can call the office number and the operator will page the doctor.
The gauze you have in your mouth must be directly over the surgery site and should be kept under constant pressure for 30 - 45 minutes. This will serve to stop the bleeding. The package you were given contains more gauze. Should the bleeding persist, you may use this gauze to bite down on for another 45 minutes. If this fails moisten a tea bag (no herbal tea) in very cold water and bite on it for another 45 minutes. Tea contains tannic acid, which helps with clotting. The cold will also help decrease bleeding. You may expect some bleeding for as long as 24 hours following surgery. If excessive bleeding still persists, call the office. Strenuous exercise will induce bleeding, so plan on relaxing for a few days. Avoid spitting and sucking through a straw, as this too will induce bleeding.
If you have had a bone graft placed other than in an area of a wisdom tooth, do not place gauze or a tea bag to stop the bleeding. With a bone graft other than in a wisdom tooth the area will be covered with a collagen membrane, which will help stop the bleeding. The gauze or tea bag may get entangled in the sutures and it may pull them out, therefore, making you bleed.
As soon as you get home, take the prescription 400mg of Ibuprofen or two over the counter 200mg tablets of Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Advil, two Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 500mg and the antibiotic (Amoxicillin 500mg or Clindamycin 150mg). Continue with the Ibuprofen 400mg every 4 hours around the clock for three days, then as needed for pain. Continue taking two Acetaminophen 500mg every 6 hours around the clock for pain, then as needed. You will take your antibiotic every 6 hours until gone. Even though you may be numb following surgery, and you may not feel you need to take a pill right away, if you wait until the numbness passes to take one, you may hurt unnecessarily until the medication gets into your system and starts to help.
Note: Antibiotics (Amoxicillin, Clindamycin, etc.) and some pain medications may alter the effectiveness of birth control pills. Consult your physician-gynecologist for assistance regarding additional methods of birth control. Warning: Some medications may depress an individual’s reaction time; consequently, driving or operating machinery should be avoided. If you develop hives or a rash, discontinue all medications and immediately contact this office.
You should not drive while taking narcotic pain medications, but you may drive if you are only taking Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen. If you have any narcotic pain medication left, you can dispose of it at your nearest police substation.
Hold ice packs on the side of your face for the next 48 hours at half an hour intervals. The ice pack should be removed for 10-15 minutes to avoid frostbite. Additional rest will speed recovery. This will keep the swelling to a minimum. You will reach your maximum swelling in approximately 72 hours, after which time it will gradually decrease over the next four to five days.
This is usually controlled by small amounts of black tea and blackened toast without butter taken every four to six hours. Vomiting once or twice is not always bad, as it serves to get rid of blood you may have swallowed. Avoid sudden movements and rise slowly from a sitting position. Also avoid having too much movement on the ride back home. Keeping well-hydrated by drinking small sips of water will also decrease nausea. Avoid eating or drinking too much at a time for the first or second day to avoid nausea as well.
Start out on a soft diet; mashed potatoes, eggs, soups, pasta and the like should be your fare after extractions, particularly wisdom teeth. Stay away from alcohol if you are on antibiotics. Alcohol interferes with their effectiveness. Popcorn and seeds are off limits for at least one month. Do not stop eating just because you had surgery. A good oral intake is very important as you need good nutrition to heal your wounds. You should average a tall glass of fluid at least every 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Do not use a straw, as this may dislodge clots in the extraction sites causing a dry socket.
Do not rinse or swish water around the mouth for the first day. The day after surgery, you should begin gently swishing warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) in your mouth over the surgery areas. Repeat this three times a day for 1 minute for one week. You can brush your teeth very carefully, particularly around the areas of the extraction. If desired, you may use toothpaste. Good oral hygiene is important during this period of time. Mouthwashes can be started one week after surgery.
If you smoke, try to restrain from smoking. Smoke is an irritant and will delay healing, prolong postoperative discomfort, cause dry socket and increase your chance of infection.
The removal of impacted wisdom teeth and other surgical procedures may be quite involved and difficult. The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
- The area operated on will usually swell.
- The swollen area can become quite large.
- Stiffness of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth for a week or two.
- You may have a slight earache. If it becomes severe after four days, please return to the office.
- You may not operate any vehicles 24 hours following general anesthetic or while taking narcotic pain medicine.
- A sore throat may develop.
- Your other teeth may ache temporarily.
- If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with a cream or ointment, such as Vaseline or cold cream.
- There may be a hole where the tooth was removed. This area should be gently rinsed following meals with warm salt water. Begin this the day after surgery. This space will gradually fill in with new tissue.
- Black and blue discoloration may occur on the face as a result of surgery. This occurrence is a result of blood in the tissue. This occurrence is not unusual and will resolve within several days. Do not be alarmed if the black and blue discoloration gets lower into your neck or chest over time. This is only the product of gravity acting over the blood in the tissues.
- There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If temperature continues, please notify this office.
- Bone spicules may work out of the site of surgery for several months following the procedure.
- Prescription refills or new prescriptions are only filled for patients of record during normal office hours, Monday thru Friday. Please plan your requests accordingly.
Because dental insurance is unique and different from medical insurance, many patients find it confusing. The complexities of insurance and the lack of sufficient information provided by many insurance companies make it almost impossible for some patients to properly understand their benefits. We have created this section to help our patients learn how to understand and maximize their insurance benefits.
Some of the services that you may need or want will not be covered by your insurance. Our goal is to help you work with your insurance so that you can achieve and maintain optimal oral health. How Is Dental Insurance Different
Maximums, Deductibles And Waiting Periods Most patients do not realize that each dental insurance plan has a dollar amount limitation each year. Once this limit is reached, no other services will be covered by your dental insurance company regardless of how essential the service may be to your dental health. Dental insurance companies also have a yearly deductible amount. This amount is taken out of the insurance payment and is paid by the patient. Many insurance companies also apply a waiting period for certain services and will not pay for another service until the waiting period is over. In these circumstances no payment by insurance will be made.
Pre-Determination Many insurance companies try to control the amount of dentistry you receive by requiring authorization for procedures in advance. In most cases, we can begin treatment prior to receiving an authorization from the dental and/or medical insurance company. The authorization process is often time consuming and can take the dental insurance companies four to six weeks to respond. Unfortunately, even obtaining benefit verification is not a guarantee of coverage. In the event the dental insurance company refuses to pay for treatment, the patient is responsible for all fees. However, if we are a contracted provider with your insurance company, even if a procedure is not allowed or covered under your plan, we still extend to you a specially discounted fee.
Elective Treatment Some services are typically not covered by dental insurance companies. These include but are not limited to: cosmetic dentistry, implants and other services. Although these are important dental services that can greatly enhance the quality of life of many patients, dental insurance companies do not feel that they should have to pay for these services. That is why these services are rarely included in dental insurance contracts with your employer.
We are providers with most dental insurances and are skilled at working with them to help you achieve the maximum reimbursement to which you are entitled. We will check your dental benefit coverage during your initial visit and submit your insurance claims to facilitate the quickest response.
Some insurance companies take longer than others to complete payment and occasionally, we may ask for your assistance to expedite the claim process.We will work proactively with you and your insurance company but ultimately you are responsible for payment for services you have received. We have a lot of experience and success in dealing with insurance companies on behalf of our patients. We are always available to answer your questions and will do everything possible to help you navigate through what can be a very complex system. Dental insurance is a contract between your employer and a dental insurance company. The benefits that you receive are based on the terms of the contract your employer negotiated with the dental insurance company (NOT with your dentists office). The services selected are based on the cost of the policy to the employer and the negotiated arrangements with the dental insurance company.
Because the benefits you have are decided between your employer and the dental insurance company, many services are not covered. The non-covered services are not based on what you need or want, but strictly on the contract with the insurance company. This is why many dental insurance companies rarely cover 100% of any dental fee. In many cases, they cover less than 50% or nothing at all. We suggest you read your dental plan booklet to familiarize yourself with the specifics of your plan benefits.