Post Op

Crowns and Bridges | Composite (tooth colored) Fillings | Root Canal Treatment | Scaling Root Planing
New Partial or Complete Dentures | Tooth Extraction | Implant Placement | Sedation

Post-Op Instructions for Crowns and Bridges

When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours as needed before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or discomfort.

The gum tissue around the prepared teeth may be sore for several days. You may rinse your mouth with warm salt water (put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse and spit) to reduce pain and swelling. There are times when a prescription rinse may be dispensed to assist with gum tissue healing. It is important to use as directed.

Crowns and bridges usually take two appointments to complete. At the first visit, the teeth are prepared and a temporary crown or bridge is placed with temporary cement while the lab fabricates your permanent restoration. The temporary restoration not only protects the tooth from damage, prevents it from shifting position, helps the gum tissue to heal in the proper location, and provides a cosmetic solution until the permanent restoration can be placed.

Your tooth may feel sensitive to temperature, sweets, or biting. This is normal and should subside in a few days. If this sensitivity is severe and does not dissipate, please contact our office immediately for an evaluation.

Avoid eating anything sticky, hard or chewy as this may pull off or damage your temporary crown. Be careful when brushing and avoid flossing adjacent to the temporary as this may cause it to become dislodged. Once the permanent restoration is placed, you may brush and floss normally. Should a temporary inadvertently come off, try to place it back on the tooth with vaseline, and contact our office immediately to have it re-cemented.

Your temporary may feel rough to your tongue and will not be the same shape or color as the permanent restoration. You can feel confident that your new restoration is being made using state-of-the-art materials by the finest laboratories and technicians.

Post-Op Instructions after Composite (tooth colored) Fillings

When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours as needed before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or discomfort.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse your mouth three times a day with warm salt water (put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse and spit) to reduce pain and swelling.

Your new composite fillings are fully hardened before you even leave the office; however, it is wise to chew on the opposite side from the location of the newly placed filling(s). One of the most common problems following filling placement with anesthesia, is an incorrect bite. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please contact our office immediately to obtain help or advice.

Post-Op Instructions after Root Canal Treatment

When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours as needed before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or discomfort.

The tooth and surrounding tissues may be tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and due to the previous condition of your tooth. This is a perfectly normal and expected reaction. For a few days, you may experience mild to moderate discomfort when eating. Avoid chewing on the tooth as much as possible.

If a temporary filling was placed to seal the tooth, avoid flossing in the area. It is not uncommon for a small portion of the filling to wear down or chip. If the entire filling breaks or falls out, please contact the office to have it replaced.

To control discomfort, take pain medications such as Advil, Motrin, or Tylenol as directed. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water) may aid in relieving discomfort.

If swelling occurs, place an ice pack on the affected area. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection and swelling are gone.

A permanent restoration, either a filling or crown must be placed to protect the treated tooth from fracture or decay. Please be sure to keep all scheduled follow-up appointments for these procedures.

If you experience uncontrollable pain or swelling, or if your bite feels uneven, please contact our office.

Post-Op Instructions after Scaling Root Planing

When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours as needed before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or discomfort.

Following scaling and root planning, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling of your gum tissues. Your teeth may feel smoother, and your mouth will taste and feel better. Your gum health must be maintained with proper homecare, as instructed, and regular professional care.

Following this treatment, your teeth may be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, and/or sweets. This occurs as the gum tissue heals and shrinks in size. Brushing two to three times daily with sensitivity toothpaste or using fluoride rinses may help alleviate these symptoms over time. If sensitivity continues or is severe, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.

For a few days, a soft diet is recommended, chewing on the opposite side.

Consistent and thorough daily oral hygiene is essential to the proper healing of your gum tissues. Brushing, flossing and rinsing with recommended products are critical. Use Listerine, or if prescribed, Peridex (Chlorhexidine).

If a localized antibiotic (Arestin) was placed, please follow all additional instructions given to you at your appointment.

In most cases, only one half of the mouth is treated at a visit. Please remember to keep all appointments to complete the treatment on the opposite side and all follow-up appointments thereafter.

Post-Op Instructions for New Partial or Complete Dentures

New dentures always require a period of adjustment. First-time denture patients may require several weeks to get used to their new appliance. Speech may be altered and may require adaptation of the tongue and lips.

For the first few days, you should wear your dentures for as long as possible, and chew soft food in small bites. Remember, dentures do not have the same chewing efficiency as natural teeth and may affect your taste of food. If your bite feels uneven after several days, we can adjust the way your teeth contact at follow-up visits.

It is not unusual for sore spots to develop in isolated areas of the mouth. These areas can be relieved easily at follow-up appointments. If a severe sore spot develops that prevents wearing the denture and an appointment has been made for adjustment, please wear the denture for 24 hours prior to the appointment. This will greatly aid in locating the exact location of the area and make adjustments significantly easier and more predictable.

Cleaning your denture properly is important in preventing stains and bacteria from accumulating on your appliance. Cleaning procedures differ for various types of appliances, so please follow the directions given to you at your insertion appointment.

Do not wear your complete or partial dentures to bed. It is important to allow your gum tissues and jaw bones to rest in order to prevent further tissue irritation, infection, and future bone shrinkage.

Over time, or with weight loss or gain, the supporting gum tissues and bone may change shape and size. Periodic relines of your dentures may be necessary to ensure a retentive fit. Denture teeth may wear or chip over time. For this reason, we recommend an annual check of your tissues and dentures.

Post-Op Instructions after Tooth Extraction

When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours as needed before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or discomfort.

After tooth extraction, it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Although we may have placed a dissolvable material in the extraction site to assist with clotting, it is recommended that you firmly bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes following the procedure. You should change the pad every 15 minutes.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot, especially for the first 24 hours. Do not smoke, suck through a straw, rinse vigorously, or brush near the extraction site for one to two days.

Reduce exercise for the first 24 hours. This will keep blood pressure lower, which will reduce bleeding from the extraction site.

To reduce swelling, place an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas to the area. Swelling should subside after 48 hours.

To minimize pain, take Tylenol or Advil as directed. In some cases, prescription pain medications may be prescribed. Please take only as directed, and do not drive or operate machinery if taking narcotic medications. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone.

After 24 hours, you may gently rinse your mouth with salt water three times a day (one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit). Rinsing after meals will help prevent food from accumulating in the extraction site.

Drink lots of fluids, and eat soft food on the opposite side from the extraction site. Avoid alcoholic beverages and hot or spicy foods. You may resume normal eating as soon as you are comfortable.

If sutures (stitches) were placed, please be sure to keep your follow-up appointment for removal.

Contact the office immediately if you have heavy, uncontrolled bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two to three days, or a reaction to the medications prescribed.

Post-Op Instructions for Implant Placement

Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

Post-Op Instructions for Sedation

Following your sedation and for a minimum of 24 hours until you are fully recovered from your sedation, do not drive an automobile, operate hazardous equipment, return to work, make important business decisions, or care for small children.

You must be supervised for a minimum of 24 hours. Some patients feel dopey and somewhat irrational following sedation and anesthesia. Less frequently, patients may experience depression. If depression becomes severe, please contact our office immediately for a referral. These effects generally will not last more than 48 hours.

All medications have side effects. With sedatives and anesthetics, these may range from very mild, unnoticeable effects to major life threatening problems. Complications with sedative and anesthetic medications may range from nausea and vomiting, or mild thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the vein) from your IV, to major complications involving your nervous system, heart, and lungs. We carefully monitor your sedation during your appointment, but if you feel that any complication is developing after you return home immediately contact our office, go to emergency room, or call 911.