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Taking Dental Medications

Your dentist may prescribe medications to fight certain oral diseases or to prevent infections after surgical procedures such as tooth extractions and gum surgery. Sometimes certain drugs are given prior to the dental procedure to help fight infections or to control existing medical conditions such as heart murmurs and valve problems. Your dentist will discuss any medications you may need to take, when to take them, and why you need to take them.

Questions to Ask Your Dentist About Your Medication

  • What is the name of the medication?
  • Why do I need to take it?
  • How often should I take it?
  • What time of day should I take it?
  • Should I take it on an empty stomach or with meals?
  • Where should I store the medication?
  • What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
  • How long should I expect to take the medication?
  • How will I know it is working?
  • What common side effects should I expect?
  • Are there any rare, but serious side effects to watch for?
  • Will the medication interfere with driving, working or other activities?
  • Does the medication interact with any foods, alcohol or other beverages, or other medications, vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter products, herbal products, or eye drops?

Review the medication information sheet that comes with each prescription. Write down any side effects you experience and call your dentist to discuss them. Update and review your history every time you see your dentist.

Facts to Tell Your Dentist About Yourself

  • If you are taking any other medications, supplements, vitamins, herbal products, over-the-counter products, eye drops, or prescription skin lotions.
  • If you are allergic to any medications.
  • If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.
  • If you have problems taking any medications.
  • If you have any health-related problems or medical conditions, especially any serious conditions that affect your body's major organs -- the kidneys, lungs, heart or liver.

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