Post-Operative Care

 
 

Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthetic

If the procedure was in the lower jaw (mandible) ... the tongue, teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will usually be numb or asleep.
If the procedure was in the upper jaw (maxilla) ... the teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will usually be numb or asleep.

  • Please monitor your child closely for approximately one to two hours following their appointment.
  • Children do not understand the feeling of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek.  These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and major abrasions to the tissue.
  • Keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off and they regain feeling.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact our office if there are any questions.

Taking Care of Teeth after Sealants

  • No eating ice. Large cubes, especially, can cause the sealant to chip or to come off.
  • Stay away from food that is sticky or chewy, such as caramel, taffy, starburst, fruit roll ups, etc. Sugar-less gum can be chewed.
  • GOOD oral hygiene is also important to your teeth. The sealant will protect the chewing surface of the tooth, but you must have good brushing and flossing habits to protect the sides and areas in-between the teeth.
  • We will replace the sealant for up to 2 1/2 years, as long as the patient is up-to-date on their recall.

Soreness after any Treatment

  • Rinse several times daily with a warm salt water solution (1 tsp. dissolved in water)
  • Take aspirin or Tylenol if needed.
  • If soreness is severe or persists for more than a few days, call the office.

Care of the Mouth after Extractions

  • DO NOT BITE, suck, or rub the lips while they fill numb or stiff. Your child should be watched closely so that they do not chew their lip before the anesthesia leaves. For this reason, the child should keep a piece of cotton in their mouth until the numbness is gone.
  • DO NOT RINSE the mouth for several hours.
  • DO NOT DRINK any beverages containing carbonation for the remainder of the day of the extractions. Do NOT drink through a straw.
  • KEEP FINGERS AND TONGUE away from socket.
  • BLEEDING: Some bleeding following tooth extraction is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place gauze firmly over the area of extraction and bite down or hold in place for ten minutes. A WET tea bag can also be used to bite on and help stop the bleeding.
  • PAIN: For discomfort, use Tylenol or any other aspirin substitute as directed for the age of the patient.

Post Trauma Instructions

  • Watch for gumboils in area of trauma. If one should occur, we will need to see the patient as soon as possible.
  • Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve.
  • If swelling occurs and gets better, then should re-occur, we would need to see the patient quickly.
  • Keep the traumatized area extra clean. It will be a factor in the healing process.
  • Maintain a soft diet for 2-3 days or until child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid sweets and foods that are extremely hot or cold.
  • If antibiotics are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.

Sedation Options

Nitrous Oxide (“Laughing Gas”)

In order to help relieve anxiety or to relax your child, a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen is often used during their appointment. It is a very safe way to comfort a very anxious child or to help a good child have a more enjoyable visit. The gas is administered through a “flavored nose” that your child chooses. It is not designed to “put them to sleep”, but only to help relax them.

  • It will not make a very apprehensive, combative, or extremely young child behave better.
  • It is best used on young children at morning appointments.
  • Do not give your child anything to eat prior to the appointment with nitrous oxide. If their stomach gets upset, they can become sick and having food will not help the situation.
  • If your child has ear infections or an earache, please let us know. It can not be used on your child at this time.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
  • Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

I.V. Sedation

I.V. Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Dr. Stroud performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by a pediatric anesthesiologist. (www.ntcadocs.com)

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Prior to leaving the hospital/outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of "Post-Op Instructions" and an emergency contact number if needed.
 

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