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 some ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil, 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed) before the anesthetic completely wears off.  This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where the anesthetic was administered.
  • 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 to three appointments to complete.  At the first visit, the teeth are prepared and a temporary crown or bridge is placed with temporary cement while awaiting the fabricated restoration.  The temporary restoration not only protects the tooth from damage, but it also prevents it from shifting position, helps the gum tissue to heal in the proper location, and provides a cosmetic solution until the fabricated 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 the office immediately for an evaluation.
  • Do not eat anything sticky, hard or chewy as this may pull the temporary off or break it. Be careful 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, and contact the office immediately to have it recemented.
  • Your temporary may feel rough to your tongue and may not be the same shape or color as the fabricated 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 (white) 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 some ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil, 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed) before the anesthetic completely wears off.  This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where the anesthetic was administered.  It will also help diminish any swelling in the nerve that may be existent (swelling often occurs in the nerve after cleaning out decay from the tooth). 
  • 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 begin chewing 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.
  • Sometimes it is not unusual to have some tenderness for several days to weeks after the restoration is placed. This can be due to the size of the filling or even the inherent nature of the composite itself. Sometimes it is even possible that the filling may have to be temporarily replaced with a sedative filling allowing the tooth to heal prior to having another composite restoration placed.

Post-Op Instructions after Root Canal Treatment

  • 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 until the prescription is finished, even if signs and symptoms of infection and swelling are gone. If any prescription pain medications are prescribed, they should be taken on an as need basis according to the instructions given.
  • A definitive restoration, either a filling or crown must be placed to protect the root canal 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 the office.

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 which prevents wearing the denture and an appointment is 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.
  • Proper cleaning of your denture is important to prevent stains and bacteria from accumulating on your appliance.  Since cleaning procedures differ for various types of appliances, please follow the directions given to you at your insertion appointment. Also, please bring your dentures to your hygiene appointments as we will professionally clean them while you are being treated.
  • 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. We recommend you not wear your denture for at least 5 hours per day.
  • 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, an annual check of your tissues and dentures is recommended.

Post-Op Instructions after Scaling and Root Planing

  • 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.
  • 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 whatever you would normally take for a headache (aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofin) before the anesthetic completely wears off.  This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where the anesthetic was administered.
  • It is not unusual for the teeth to 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 this 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 and avoiding hot and spicy foods.
  • 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. To further reduce discomfort, we recommend warm salt water rinses using a teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water three times a day.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.
  • Avoid tobacco products for 72 hours in order to promote healing.

Post-Op Instructions after Tooth Extraction

  • 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 area to assist with clotting, it is recommended that you firmly bite on a wet 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 usually should subside after 48 hours.
  • To minimize pain, take medications such as Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin.  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 in preventing 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.