For most people, a scheduled trip to a dentist’s office doesn’t get eagerly circled on the calendar. While you might dread the idea of visiting the dentist, there are a number of important thing you need to do, and not do, prior to your appointment to have a successful visit. Establishing a line of communication with Dr. da Costa before a visit can be of critical importance.
Patients who have experienced a serious health condition, such as surgery, or received a diagnosis for a chronic condition like diabetes need to inform Dr. da Costa prior to arriving for their appointment. Depending on the condition or illness, patients may need to come to their appointment premedicated with antibiotics in order to reduce their risk of infection.
Communication is Key
Many patients who don’t understand the importance of establishing an open dialogue with their dentist wait until sitting in the dental chair before opening up about their recent medical history. Unfortunately, such short notice doesn’t always provide enough time for Dr. da Costa and his staff to adequately prep patients for treatment.
Antibiotic treatment one-hour prior to an appointment is recommended for patients who suffer from specific health concerns. Without taking the time to premedicate with an appropriate antibiotic, a patient’s appointment may need to be rescheduled, resulting in a wasted trip and unneeded hassle.
Taking prescribed antibiotics at least one hour prior to an appointment can help reduce the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream during routine oral procedures, such as cavity fillings and cleanings.
Educating patients about the need to establish better communication in regards to the current state of their health has become a priority in the medical community in recent years. Dentists have begun to team up with the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery to refine the best practices and guidelines to ensure patient safety and wellbeing.
Patients can Increase Risk of Infection
Much like cramming for a midterm the night before, many patients tend to aggressively increase their oral hygiene in the days leading up to a dental appointment. While you might finally unlock the mysteries of Plato the night before an exam by spending all night studying, you can’t improve months of neglecting your oral health by brushing and flossing three times the night before a dental appointment.
Unfortunately, by over-brushing, you can cause slight irritation to gum tissue or may cause your gums to dry out, which often is the result of overusing mouthwash. While over-brushing for an extended period of time can cause gum recession to occur, you won’t do any permanent damage by brushing or flossing too hard prior to an appointment.
However, for patients with an underlying medical condition, this irritation to their gum tissue may cause bleeding to occur during a dental exam and cleaning. Bleeding gums open up an avenue for bacteria to enter the bloodstream, a more serious risk should a patient not premedicate with an antibiotic prior to their appointment.
To help reduce the risk of gum irritation, just maintain your usual oral hygiene routine prior to a dental appointment.