Post-Op Instructions

It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications.  As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the anesthesia wear off.  Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth.

Use the following instructions as guidelines, and always confirm proper healing instructions from your doctor or dentist. If you are having symptoms that are not covered here or have a dental emergency, please contact the office directly.

When the any restoration is placed, it may feel a little awkward for a few days.  After about a week of adjusting, the material should feel like your natural tooth. Let your dentist know if your bite feels abnormal in any way. Brush and floss regularly, as you would with your natural teeth.  

Root Canal Therapy

You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days.  Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed. This can help prevent irritation around the area and ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets.  You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth.  If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) call your dentist immediately.

Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary restoration.  Because this is not as sturdy as a permanent restoration, you should be careful when cleaning your mouth and eating.  You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged.  Take caution while eating and avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.

Sensitivity and irritation after these procedures is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals.  A warm salt water rinse will help, as well as taking Advil or Tylenol for any pain.

White Fillings (Bonding)

After the anesthesia wears off, your teeth will likely be sensitive.  Avoid hot and cold food or drink for the next few days, and continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.

Scaling and Root Planing

Your gums will probably feel slightly sore or irritated for the first few days after your procedure.  Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day to relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing gently should be continued right after the procedure 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. Contact your dentist if you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days.

Veneers

It is important to be careful with your temporary veneer before your permanent one is placed.   Brush the area gently and be careful to not pull up on the tooth when flossing to avoid dislodging. Stay away from sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent 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 for pain.

Be sure to pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line when brushing or flossing.

Extractions

After the surgery, you will need to rest and be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia.  You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. 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 your dentist.  

Resting when you arrive home is essential for proper healing. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down and avoid lying flat to avoid prolonged bleeding. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication. Take it as directed if you and use an ice pack for the pain. 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.

Do not use a straw when drinking. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.

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