Post-Operative Instructions

It is important to follow instructions after you have a dental procedure to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait to eat until after the local anesthesia wears off. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your procedure, we will give you full instructions on how to properly recover. Always follow our recommendations and please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

Root Canal Therapy: You can expect soreness for a few days after a root canal procedure. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed so you do not irritate the area and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You may also need to take an antibiotic if prescribed. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to any medication or the loss of the temporary restoration, call us immediately.

Crowns and Bridges: Before you receive your final crown/bridge, you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the final version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because the temporary could become dislodged. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in. If your temporary becomes dislodged, clean it off with water and/or mouth wash. Swish with mouth wash and gently brush tooth. The tooth may be sensitive, especially to temperatures when exposed. Use an over the counter temporary crown and bridge cement or even a small amount of toothpaste to re-cement your temporary crown. Give us a call to re-cement the temporary for you. If you break your temporary, give us a call so we can re-make it for you. There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or final restoration is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away. When the permanent crown or bridge is placed, it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural teeth in about a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way or you have some lingering discomfort or sensitivity, give us a call for a bite adjustment. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.

Tooth Colored Fillings (Bonding): After the anesthesia wears off, your teeth will likely be sensitive. You should avoid hot and cold foods or drinks for the next few days. After that initial period, your treated teeth will feel as good as new. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.

Scaling and Root Planing: After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days, contact us.

Veneers: Before you receive your final veneer you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the final version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or final is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.

When the veneer is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let us know. When brushing and flossing you should pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line.

Extractions: After the surgery, you will need to rest. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. It may even ooze through the night and into the next morning. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours, you should call us immediately. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. We may prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore, take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain and swelling. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are: Gelatin, Pudding, Yogurt, Mashed Potatoes, Ice Cream, Thin Soups, and other food you can eat without chewing.

When drinking, make sure you do NOT use a straw for one week after surgery. The sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot and significantly slow the healing process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly, you may have developed a dry socket or some other post operative complication. Give us a call immediately to schedule a post operative check.