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Post-Operative Instructions

Post-Operative Instructions

Post-Operative Instructions

Following any oral surgery, patients should follow the instructions given to them by their dentist to promote properly healing and to avoid complications. Wait at least two hours before eating after surgery to avoid possible nausea caused by the anesthesia. Attempting to eat before the anesthesia wears off could result in soft tissue damage in the mouth because patients are unable to feel all of the mouth.

The following are guidelines only. The dentist or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to recover properly following your surgery.

01. Root Canals
Soreness in the jaw and mouth can be expected for 2 to 3 days. Avoid irritating the side of the mouth where the procedure was performed by not chewing on that side. Not chewing in the area of the surgery will ensure that the temporary restorative material sets properly. An antibiotic may be prescribed to treat any possible infection. If you begin having increased pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication or the loss of the temporary filling, call your dentist immediately.
02. Crowns and Bridges
Prior to the finished crown/bridge being placed, your dentist will create a temporary restoration, Be careful when cleaning or eating because the temporary crown or bridge will not be as sturdy as the permanent one. Brush the area gently. When flossing, try not to pull up on the tooth because it could dislodged the temporary crown or bridge. When eating, avoid sticky or chewy foods. There might be some sensitivity and irritation following the placement of the temporary or permanent appliance. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can take Advil or Tylenol to help with any pain. Once the permanent crown or bridge is installed, it can feel awkward for a few days. Your mouth will need to adjust to the new appliance. It should feel like a natural tooth in less than a week. Inform the dentist if your bite feels abnormal. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. Brush and floss regularly and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.
03. White Fillings (Bonding)
As the anesthesia wears off, your teeth will be sensitive. Avoid hot and cold food or drink for several hours. After this initial period, the treated teeth will begin to feel like normal. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure the fillings last.
04. Scaling and Root Planing
After the treatment, your gums are likely to be sore and irritated for a few days. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2 or 3 times a day. This will relieve some of the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued immediately, but brush gently so the area does not become more irritated. If you experience swelling or stiffness, put a cold compress on the area and take a pain reliever. Avoid hard or chewy foods for 2 to 3 days so the area can heal. If you experience pain or swelling for several days, it might be a good idea to check in with your dentist.
05. Veneers
Prior to the permanent veneer being attached, a temporary will be provided. As mentioned previously, the temporary will not be as sturdy as the permanent one, so be careful when cleaning and eating. Brush gently and when flossing, do not pull up on the tooth. Pulling on the tooth could dislodge the veneer. The same goes for eating. Avoid sticky or chewy foods while wearing the temporary. There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will go away as the tissue heals. Rinse with warm salt water and take Advil or Tylenol for pain. When the permanent veneer is placed, it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the restoration, and it should feel like one of your natural teeth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal, let your dentist know. When brushing and flossing, pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line.
06. Extractions
Getting enough rest following the surgery is highly recommended, especially since extractions usually require anesthesia. You will need to be driven home by a friend or family member. You can expect the extraction site to bleed after the surgery. Gauze will be applied to the wound, but it will need to changed when it becomes saturated. Call the dentist if bleeding continues for longer than a day. Do not lie flat while resting because it can prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Any pain medication prescribed by your dentist should be taken if the site is painful. An ice pack can be applied if the pain persists. If your dentist gives you a cleaning solution to use on the wound, be sure to use it. You will only be able to eat soft foods for a few days. Here are some recommendations: gelatin, pudding, yogurt, mashed potatoes, ice cream, thin soups and any other foods you can eat without chewing. When drinking, try not to use a straw. The suction could loosen the sutures and slow the clotting. 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 immediately.