Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

doctor wearing a mask and gloves

Infection Control

Your dentist has certain protocols in place to protect your health and the health of others in the office.

However, once you leave the office after a procedure, you still need to be careful about infection.

What is actually involved in preventing infection?

doctor wearing a mask and gloves

In-Office Standards and Your Actions Play Key Roles in Preventing Infection

Similar to any other medical setting, there are a variety of rules in place in your dental office for infection control. While your dentist can give you specific information about recovering from your treatment, there are some general guidelines you can follow to prevent infection from occurring. Keep in mind that once an infection begins, it can easily spread to other areas of your body. Infection control is crucial to both your oral and overall health after a dental procedure or oral surgery. 

Standard Precautions for Infection Control

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has certain guidelines in place that apply to all patient care in all settings where health care is provided. These infection prevention practices help keep everyone involved safe from health issues. According to the CDC, standard precautions include:

  • Hand washing 
  • Wearing protective equipment, such as gloves, masks, and eyewear
  • Good cough etiquette
  • Work practice controls for sharps safety
  • Safe injection techniques
  • Sterile instruments and devices
  • Clean and disinfected surfaces

The CDC also requires that dental unit waterlines use water that meets drinking water standards and are regularly cleaned to prevent buildup. These methods represent the baseline your dentist must meet to control infection within their practice. 

At-Home Care for Preventing Infection

Infection after a dental procedure is rare, especially when you follow proper steps for preventing infection. After your procedure, your dentist will provide you with specific post-operative instructions based on the type of treatment you received. Your oral health is dependent on how well you follow these directions. Some general tips for avoiding infection include:

Manage bleeding with gauze

You may experience some bleeding after a dental operation. Elevating your head and biting gently on damp gauze can help your body form a clot and speed the healing process.

Take all prescribed medications

Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, painkillers, or another type of medication. It is important to take them exactly as prescribed and not stop prematurely.

Get plenty of rest

In general, patients should rest and avoid strenuous physical activity for a couple of days after surgery. 

Care for your sutures

Depending on the type of procedure you receive, you may have sutures placed and require a second trip to the dentist to remove them. Avoid chewing on your sutures or eating popcorn or foods with small seeds, as these can become lodged in the sutures.

Avoid smoking or the use of other tobacco products

Tobacco inhibits your body’s natural healing process and can cause a painful condition known as dry socket.  Until the surgical area has completely healed, avoid smoking or using chewing tobacco. 

Maintain Your Oral Hygiene

Unless your dentist tells you otherwise, you should gently brush and floss following your surgery. In some cases, your dentist may recommend using a salt water rinse to dislodge any food particles and help your surgical site heal properly. 

Some swelling and minor bleeding is normal after a dental procedure. However, if these conditions persist, you should contact your dentist

Warning Signs of an Infection

Keep an eye on your oral health in the days following your procedure. There are several symptoms you can look out for if you are concerned about an infection, such as:

  • Increased pain three to four days following surgery
  • A fever of over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Pus developing in the surgical site
  • Increased swelling of the face, jaw, or gums three to four days after surgery
  • Issues opening or moving your jaw
  • Prolonged bleeding

Report Distressing Symptoms

Keep in mind that some degree of swelling, bleeding, and pain is normal. Your dentist can explain what to expect after your specific procedure. However, if symptoms seem excessive in any way, contact your dentist immediately. They can assess your oral health and determine if an infection is present.

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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