Dr. Brett L. Johnson

General & Cosmetic Dentistry

Communication Key Between Patient and Dentist

Oregon City dentistWhile few people look forward to visiting the dentist, there are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure a successful appointment. Chief among them is the need to communicate with Oregon City dentist Dr. Johnson before your next dental appointment in order to enjoy a safe and productive visit.

Patients who have experienced a serious health condition such as surgery, or have been diagnosed with a chronic illness like diabetes, need to inform Dr. Johnson of their current health before arriving at their next appointment. Depending on the illness, patients may need to take antibiotics prior to an appointment to help reduce the risk of infection.

Patients who wait until after sitting down into Dr. Johnson’s chair before informing the staff at Oregon City Dentistry of any recent major medical developments could find themselves arriving unprepared for their appointment. Pretreating with antibiotics one hour before an appointment is a recommended precaution for many patients suffering from specific health concerns. Failing to take the prescribed antibiotics before arriving could require rescheduling the appointment, which ends up wasting the patient’s time.

Taking an antibiotic one-hour prior to an appointment helps to prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream during routine dental procedures, such as cleanings and cavity fillings. To ensure patient health and safety, the dental community has established working relationships with the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery to fine tune these and other guidelines designed to prevent patients with weakened or compromised immune systems from an increased risk of infection.

Occasionally, patients can inadvertently increase their risk of infection at home prior to their dental appointment. Many patients who feel unsure about their current level of oral hygiene start to aggressively increase their brushing and flossing habits in the days leading up to their next dental appointment. While brushing and flossing regularly is typically encouraged, patients who brush and floss excessively for a few days can cause gum irritation, which results in swelling and a tendency for gums to bleed more easily when brushed or flossed. Some patients who overuse mouth wash before an appointment can dry their gums out, which also increases their risk of bleeding.

When gums bleed, they open an avenue for bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which can cause serious problems for patients recovering from surgery or who are suffering from a condition that has compromised their immune system. This highlights just one more reason why establishing an open line of communication with Dr. Johnson before an appointment remains such an important part of treatment.

Unlike cramming the night before a test, you can’t score higher marks for your oral hygiene just by brushing and floss more frequently two days before an appointment. Instead of trying to make up for lost time, it’s better that patients continue their normal oral hygiene habits and have a frank conversation with Dr. Johnson about whether they need to do more in order to protect their long-term oral health.

Protecting your oral health is a partnership between patient and dentist. For Dr. Johnson to provide every patient with the care they require, patients must take it upon themselves to establish an open line of communication so that their health and safety remains priority number one.

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