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Post-Op Instructions

Following the instructions given to you after oral surgery is essential to make sure proper healing is taking place and to reduce the change of any complications.  Generally, you’ll want to wait at least two hours to eat anything until the anesthesia can wear off.  Attempting to eat before this could cause soft tissue damage.  Below are instructions you should follow after surgery.  A dental assistant, or your dentist, will give you more detailed instructions on how you should recover after surgery.

Root Canal Therapy

After a root canal you can count on being sore for several days.  Abstain from chewing food on the side of your mouth that the root canal was performed on as to not irritate the site and to allow the temporary restorative material to set properly.  Any leftover infection in your tooth will be taken care of by an antibiotic prescribed by your dentist.  Contact your dentist immediately if you have a reaction to your medication, have a loss of the temporary restoration or if you have excessive amounts of pain or tenderness.

Crowns and Bridges

A temporary restoration will be used before giving you your permanent crown or bridge.  You should take proper precaution when cleaning your teeth or eating because this temporary restoration is not as sturdy as the permanent crown or bridge.  When brushing or flossing, avoid pulling up on the tooth as this may uproot it.  You should also refrain from eating any foods that are chewy or sticky as well.

After the temporary restoration or permanent crown or bridge is put in, you may experience some irritation and sensitivity.  Once your soft tissue heals, the pain should lessen.  Taking Tylenol or Advil, as well as rinsing with warm salt water, my help reduce the pain.

Once your permanent crown or bridge is put in, your mouth may feel unpleasant.  Over the next few days your mouth will adjust and eventually it will feel like one of your natural teeth.  If you feel as though your bite feels misaligned for any reason, contact your dentist.  You should care for your crown or bridge just as you do with your normal teeth with regular brushing and flossing.

White Fillings (Bonding)

Your teeth will most likely be sensitive once the anesthesia wears off.  You should abstain from consuming food or drinks that are too hot or too cold for a few days.  After several days, your teeth will feel completely normal.  You should resume your normal hygiene routine to make sure your fillings last as long as possible.

Scaling and Root Planing

Your gums will be sore and irritated for several days after this procedure.  A salt water rinse (1 teaspoon salt mixed in 8 oz of water) two to three times a day is recommended.  This will not only relieve some pain but also clean the area.  Normal brushing and flossing should resume immediately though you should gently brush, so you do not irritate the area.  A cold compress can be used if you have any stiffness or swelling in the area.  You should also take a pain relieving medication.  Refrain from eating any chewy or hard foods for several days after surgery, so that the area heals properly.  Should you experience prolonged swelling or pain several days after surgery, contact your dentist.

Veneers

Prior to your permanent veneers being placed, you will have a temporary restoration.  This isn’t as durable as the permanent version, so take caution when eating or brushing your teeth.  Brushing too aggressively could dislodge the temporary restoration.  Also, avoid any sticky or chew foods while the temporary restoration is in.

After the temporary restoration or permanent veneers are put in, you may experience some irritation and sensitivity.  Once your soft tissue heals, the pain should lessen.  Taking Tylenol or Advil, as well as rinsing with warm salt water my help reduce the pain.

Once your veneer is put in, your mouth may feel unpleasant.  Over the next few days your mouth will adjust and eventually it will feel like one of your natural teeth.  If you feel as though your bite feels misaligned for any reason, contact your dentist.  You should care for your veneers just as you do with your normal teeth with regular brushing and flossing.  Make sure to pay attention to the space between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line when brushing or flossing.

Extractions

Rest is the key to recovery after having teeth extracted.  The anesthesia will leave you incapable of driving, so a family member or friend will have to accompany you.  It is completely normal for the extraction site to bleed for some time after surgery.  At the end of the procedure, gauze will be applied and it will need to be changed once it becomes soaked.  Should you be bleeding for more than twenty four hours, you should contact your dentist.  When you are resting, you should not lie flat.  Doing so may cause the bleeding to last longer.  Use a pillow to prop your head up if you decide to lay down.  Pain medication may be prescribed to you and you should take it as directed if you are in pain.  Ice packs can also help with discomfort.  A cleaning solution might also be recommended by your dentist.

Soft foods are recommended for a few days after the procedure.  Some foods you should eat are:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Thin Soups
  • Gelatin
  • Ice Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Any food that can be consumed without the need to chew

Should you drink anything, you should not use a straw.  The motion of sucking through the straw can cause your sutures to become loose, as well as slow down the clotting process.  Smoking is also not recommended.  Should you have bleeding, irritation, pain for an extended amount of time, or improper healing you should contact your dentist to schedule a visit.

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