Post Op Instructions
With any type of oral or dental surgery, you’ll want to make sure the proper care is taken once you leave our office to ensure you heal properly and in a healthy manner. Different dental procedures will call for different aftercare methods, and it is important to know these methods if you wish to save yourself from future damage or pain.
One rule of thumb to follow on just about all dental procedures is to wait around 2 hours before eating after you’ve left our office if you’ve received a numbing injection, as chewing while numb can lead to soft tissue damage and a risk of choking.
Aftercare and post-op instructions to pay close attention to for many common procedures are:
Root Canal Therapy
After receiving a root canal, it’s not rare to experience some soreness or discomfort for a few days post-procedure. In an effort to avoid further irritating the area, it’s best to avoid the site while chewing if possible, and to eat softer foods that don’t place excess stress on your teeth.
If you’ve received a temporary crown, you’ll want to make sure the temporary adhesive has been able to set completely before pressure is put on the material, as this will save you from having to return to the dentist to have the crown replaced. If you experience more intense irritation, or you happen to lose your temporary crown, it is recommended that you call your dentist straight away.
After a bonding or white filling procedure, your affected tooth or teeth will be somewhat sensitive once the numbing injection wears off. For the first few days, we recommend avoiding very hot and very cold drinks in an effort to not irritate the area further.
Bridges and Crowns
While your permanent bridge or crown is being created, you’ll be fitted with a temporary solution to hold you over and provide you with an aesthetically pleasing and usable chewing surface. Because this is a temporary solution, it’s important to be careful while chewing with the area to ensure the temp does not break or become loose in the mouth. The area may be brushed or flossed, but it must be done gently. When the permanent crown or bridge is placed, you may experience some sensitivity as the soft tissue around the area heals, and rinsing with a warm salt water solution can help to alleviate this pain and prompt healthy healing.
Scaling and Root Planing
For the first few days after a scaling and root planing procedure, you can expect your gums to be somewhat irritated. In order to alleviate pain and avoid infection, we recommend creating a salt water rinse made up of 1 teaspoon of salt water per 8 ounces of warm water, and rinsing your entire mouth with the solution 2 to 3 times per day. By eliminating infection and prompting healthy healing, the rinse can make your gums feel more comfortable during these post-op days.
When brushing, make sure to brush extra gently as not to further irritate your gums, and this rule applies to flossing as well. Should your pain be more intense, an over the counter pain reliever and cold compress is recommended, and if the pain does not go away after a few days, call us and schedule an appointment to see your dentist.
If you receive general anesthesia while getting your extraction procedure, you will require a friend or family member to come along with you in order to drive you to and from the dental office. After the procedure is finished, rest will be required to recover from the anesthesia, and you will want to be brought back home to rest safely. Not all extractions require general anesthesia, however, and should you receive a local anesthetic instead, you may be able to transport yourself.
After the extraction is complete, you can expect some bleeding at the site for a few hours after the procedure, and gauze should be replaced after each time it becomes saturated. After returning home, lay down with your head propped up, as lying flat can cause bleeding to worsen, and make sure to stick to very soft foods for the first few days post-surgery. If the site continues to bleed after 24 hours, call your dentist right away.
When drinking after an extraction, straws should not be used, as the suction needed to drink from a straw can loosen any sutures and prevent the area from clotting properly. If you happen to experience prolonged pain, intense pain, or prolonged bleeding, make sure to call your dentist to investigate the problem.
Because permanent veneers take a little while to prepare, you will have a temporary tooth restoration to serve you until your veneers are finished and ready to be placed. These temporary veneers are not as hardy as your permanent ones will be, so we recommend chewing, brushing, and flossing softly and carefully in an effort to prevent them from damage. Any chewy or sticky foods or candies should be avoided altogether until your permanent veneers have been placed.
Before the placement of your temporary or permanent veneers, there may be some soft tissue stress, and this can cause your mouth to become somewhat sensitive. This is a very normal part of the process, and a rinse made of warm salt water and used 2 to 3 times per day can help greatly in relieving pain and speeding up the healing process.
After your permanent veneers are installed, it’s also normal for them to feel a bit awkward and take some getting used to for the first few days. In about a week, you’ll find that your veneers will begin to feel just like your natural teeth, and the feeling of awkwardness will slowly subside. If your veneers continue to feel unnatural, however, and you suspect that there may be a problem present, we recommend calling your dentist to have them checked out right away.
The content offered on this website is for informational purposes only and does not seek to diagnose and/or treat any physical, medical, dental, and/or periodontal condition or disease. In addition, the offering and consumption of this content does not establish a doctor patient relationship. If you are experiencing any pain, discomfort, swelling, and/or bleeding in your mouth and/or jaw this may represent a serious condition and can only be diagnosed and treated by visiting a medical doctor, dentist, and/or periodontist in person.