Periodontal debridements are hard work! After a long scaling and root planning appointment, the last thing you might be thinking about is educating your patient, and the last thing they want to hear is more information! However, post op instructions are vital to the healing and health of your patient. Here are a few reasons why:
1. They will be sore a couple hours after treatment, especially if anesthesia was used. Most patient weren’t experiencing gingival pain before the treatment, and could be upset that they are sore after being seen by a hygienist. Explaining to them that pain is normal and will get better in a few days is helpful to ease their mind.
2. Giving proper post op care is essential to healing. You spent several hours numbing, scaling, placing antibiotics, and removing bacteria. The last thing they need it is for the bacteria to reculture in 24 hours and make all that work for not! Having good home care will not only help heal the gingiva and periodontium faster, but also have the patient comfortable quicker.
3. Tooth structure will be exposed after treatment that has not been for, possibly, years, and will be sensitive to the elements we put our mouths through. Help your patient understand that this happens to everyone, and there are ways to prevent being uncomfortable. Daily fluoride mouth rinses, sensitive toothpaste, or prescription pastes can all help with the hot and cold tenderness that follows SRP.
The easiest way we have found to give the best post op information and care to your patient is with a hand out. After a quick explanation, slip one in their Oral Hygiene Bag. It will greatly comfort them if questions arise in the middle of the night and they feel they have nowhere to go. This little gesture goes a long way with our patients and shows how much we care as hygienists about their oral and overall health!
What do YOU tell your patients about home care after treatment?
Need a Post Op hand out to give to your patients? We’ve included ours! Just click and print!
lick HERE for your own downloadable version.