General Guidelines for all procedures:
Do not chew on hard, sticky or chewy foods for a least 24 hours. Never chew on ice. Avoid aggressive chewing and sticky foods such as “hard tack” candies that can loosen or damage a restoration. Carefully follow all guidelines provided by the doctor and their staff and most importantly practice good oral hygiene. Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. Please click on the below topics for detailed instructions. In the event of an emergency, please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
Post-Operative Instructions Following Crown and Bridge
Carefully clean around the restoration, brushing and flossing daily. When flossing, take extra care not to loosen the temporary restoration by removing the floss too hard. You can slowly thread the floss out by one end if necessary to avoid too much pressure on the temporary.
Once your final restoration has been placed avoid chewing on hard, crunchy or sticky foods for 24 hours in order to give time for the cement to fully bond. Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods is not unusual and should dissipate after a few weeks. If sensitivity lasts more than six weeks please let the office know, but this happens infrequently. Ongoing care for your restoration includes brushing your teeth after every meal and snack and flossing at least once a day before bedtime. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash with also help to remove any additional particles that may have been missed during brushing and flossing. Please call our office if you are in pain or have any questions regarding your treatment.
Post-Operative Instructions Following Fillings
Sensitivity to cold and heat, as well as any soreness, shouldn’t last more than a few days, please call our office if you experience pain or discomfort for more than a few days.
Post-Operative Instructions Following Denture or Partial Delivery
Ongoing care for your restoration includes brushing your teeth and surrounding tissues after every meal and snack and flossing at least once a day before bedtime unless you have full dentures, in which case brushing them is very important. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash will also help to remove any additional particles that may have been missed during brushing and flossing.
You should visit our office at least once a year to have your dentures or partial adjusted and checked by the doctor. Wearing ill-fitting dentures or partials without proper care and adjustment can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease. Please call our office at the first signs of any symptoms or if you are experiencing ongoing pain or discomfort.
Post-Operative Instructions Following Scaling and Root Planing
For the first 24 hours, you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity. Do not eat, drink, chew or consume hot foods or beverages until the numbness has worn off following anesthetic. Avoid vigorous physical exercise and foods and are extremely hot or spicy for the first 24 hours and do not consume alcoholic beverages or smoke for at least 48 hours. Some bleeding following a deep cleaning is normal, but if you experience excessive bleeding please call our office.
You can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen according to the instructions on the label or those provided by your doctor as needed. A warm salt water rinse, approximately one teaspoon in an eight-ounce glass of water, three times a day can be helpful. Brush and floss gently following a deep cleaning, resume normal brushing and flossing when the soreness is gone.
Follow any other instructions provided by our office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed.
Post Operative Instructions for Dental Extractions
If you have been prescribed pain medication besides aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), do not drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication. Do not take more than 800mg every 4-6 hours. Medication should not be taken on an empty stomach. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medicine as directed. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection.
Swelling around the face, eyes and surgical site is not uncommon. This swelling may not appear until the day following the surgery and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. You can help to minimize the swelling by applying a cold compress on the face near the extraction site alternating on for 20 minutes then off for 20 minutes. After 36 hours the ice will have no further impact on swelling. After this period, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can help reduce swelling.
For 24 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, brush, rinse, spit, or smoke. Avoid hot and spicy foods, carbonated and alcoholic beverages. During the first few days after surgery restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies. Restrict your activities on the day of your surgery, avoid excessive work or play and resume normal activity the following day as tolerated.
After the first day, gently rinse with a warm salt water rinse, approximately one-half teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of water, three times a day.
If any sutures were required, they will dissolve on their own in 7-10 days. It will not be necessary to return to the office for sutures to be removed.
Children should be supervised after having an extraction to make sure they do not bite or their tongue or lips as it can cause serious injury to their soft tissue.
Please call our office if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns. In the event of an emergency, please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
Post Operative Instructions Following Implant Surgery/Implant Treatment
For the first 24 hours, you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity. Do not eat, drink, chew or consume foods and beverages that are extremely hot or spicy until the numbness has worn off following the anesthetic. Avoid vigorous physical exercise for the first 24 hours and do not consume alcoholic beverages or smoke for at least 48 hours. Do not brush, rinse or spit. Do not use a straw for drinking. During the first few days after surgery, a diet of liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies are recommended. If you experience excessive bleeding or discomfort after 48-72 hours, please call our office immediately.
Follow any other instructions provided by the office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed including your prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection.
Post-Operative Instructions Following Root Canal Therapy
- For the next 30 minutes, do not eat or drink anything. You have a temporary filling that takes about 1/2 hour to harden. Please do not feel around your tooth with your tongue.
- If any prescriptions were given, please have them filled promptly. If no prescriptions were given and you are not allergic, you may use any ibuprofen type of medication such as Motrin or Advil, 3 tablets (600mg) every 6-8 hours as needed for discomfort and alleviation of swelling. Alternatively, you may use Tylenol, 1000mg every 6-8 hours as needed. Do not exceed the guidelines printed on the label for any medication. If you are unable to achieve adequate pain control, please call our office.
- You may find using an ice pack to the affected area helpful. Please do not apply ice directly to the skin, have a cloth between the ice and skin at all times. You may apply the ice for up to 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the next 6-8 hours as needed.
- Once you begin to eat and drink, avoid chewing or biting on the area worked on until your permanent restoration is in place. The area may be more sensitive due to swelling. The temporary in place is a soft composite that is vulnerable to fracturing (cracking) with hard substances such as peanuts, pretzels, hard candy, ice cubes, etc. You will need to see a restorative dentist within a month to have a permanent crown placed. Please contact your restorative dentist to make an appointment at your earliest convenience. Waiting longer than a month increases the chances that the temporary will fracture and/or decay will develop, in which case, you are at fault and will be responsible for all costs to have it redone.
- Please keep the area worked on clean by gently brushing the area and flossing regularly.
- It is rare for a temporary filling to fall out although it may pivot while in use. If the temporary falls out please contact your general dentist as soon as possible. If your temporary falls out after office hours you may purchase some temporary filling material from most pharmacy’s and follow the included instructions.
- Some discomfort following the root canal is normal for 2 to 4 days after the treatment. In some cases, the tooth and surrounding tissue may be sore for a few weeks following the treatment.
- Normal brushing and flossing are okay unless otherwise specified by your doctor. Follow any other instructions provided by the office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed.
THIS SECTION IS VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
While flare-ups are rare, they occur in about 5% of the cases and cause significant pain. They occur with teeth that are extremely irritated and/or infected or with teeth that have a history of prior treatment. These sometimes occur randomly, even on patients that have had root canals done in the past without problems. If you have a flare-up you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling, throbbing or general discomfort; please contact our office. You may be prescribed additional medication such as antibiotics and/or you may be asked to come to the office for further treatment. Should you experience any of these symptoms, please contact the office, even after hours.