Post Operative Instructions
What To Expect & How To Treat Yourself
- Bleeding: Bleeding or "oozing" is expected for the first 12-24 hours. Place gauze over extraction sites and maintain pressure by biting for at least 2 hours. Replace gauze every 30 minutes. Keep head elevated and rest. Do not suck or spit excessively. If bleeding persists, replace the gauze with a clean folded gauze placed over the extraction site, and maintain the pressure.
- Swelling: Swelling is normal after oral surgery. It should reach its maximum in 2-3 days, and should begin to diminish by the 5th postoperative day. Place ice or cold compresses on the region of surgery for 10 minutes every half-hour for the first 8-12 hours only. Any throbbing or itchy gums should abate by then.
- Smoking: Avoid smoking during the healing period.
- Discomfort: Any pain, irritation or itchiness will occur after the anesthesia has worn off. This should diminish within 1-3 days. Begin taking pain medication immediately after surgery as directed. Medication will take effect in just under an hour.
- Diet: A nutritious liquid or soft food diet may be necessary for the first week after the surgery. A fluid intake of at least 2 quarts a day is needed.
- Physical Activity: For the first 24-48 hours, you should rest. Patients who have sedation should refrain from driving or any task requiring alertness for 24 hours.
- Brush teeth carefully.
- Use warm salt water (or prescription mouth rinse) as a mouth rinse, 3-5 times per day.
- If antibiotics are prescribed, be sure to take all that have been prescribed.
- Use warm, moist heat on the face for swelling. Continue until the swelling subsides.
- If sutures were used, return to the office in 5-7 days for removal.
- Dry socket is a delayed healing response, which may occur during day 2-4, postoperative. It is associated with a throbbing pain on the side of the face, close to the ear. In mild cases, increasing the pain medication will help. If this is unsuccessful, please call our office.
- Bleeding is excessive and cannot be controlled.
- Discomfort is poorly controlled.
- Swelling is excessive, spreading or continuing to enlarge after 48 hours.
- Allergic reactions to medications occur, which are causing a generalized rash or excessive bleeding.
Root Canal Treatment
What To Expect
During treatment, the doctor used our Solea dental laser to thoroughly clean the root canal system inside your tooth. The irritated tissue and bacteria that have caused your infection and pain are now gone. But your immune system is still clearing away molecules so it’s normal to feel some tenderness over the next few days. Your body is healing naturally.
You may feel some irritation in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time, or from where the anesthetic was injected. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow their full instructions. Any narcotic medications may make you drowsy, and therefore, caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car.
Your tooth may feel slightly different from your others for some time after your root canal treatment. If you experience severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact our office.After The Procedure
- Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it will wear off slightly in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact us.
- You develop a visible swelling inside or outside your mouth
- You have an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction)
- The original symptoms return
- You have an uneven bite
Scaling & Root Planing
Periodontal therapy involves continuous self-maintenance and ongoing treatment. Scaling is performed to remove plaque and tartar deposits and root planing is done to smooth the root surface, allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.What To Expect & How To Treat Yourself
- Discomfort: Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually associated with slight throbbing or aching. This usually subsides in about 4 hours. Any discomfort due to brushing should subside within a few days. Your gums may become “itchy” or uncomfortable and your doctor may recommend ibuprofen. Swelling or jaw stiffness occurs very rarely. But if it does, apply warm, moist towels to the face in the area of the stiffness.
- Sensitivity: Sensitivity to temperature changes and/or sweets may occur. Removing all plaque from the tooth with a toothbrush or Q-Tip, and then placing a dab of sensitive toothpaste or fluoride toothpaste on the tooth should stop sensitivity within a few days. If tooth sensitivity persists, use desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne, and avoid tartar control toothpastes. If a local anesthetic was used, avoid chewing foods until feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue or cheeks. If the sensitivity is severe and prolonged, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required. The sensitivity may be intense, but it will diminish within a few days.
- Bleeding : Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings, but the bleeding should steadily decrease after 2-3 days.
- Appearance : Root surfaces may be more exposed as the swelling of the inflamed gum tissue goes away. This may result in more space between the teeth.
- Diet & Eating: Your first meal after treatment should be soft. And no hot food or beverages for two days. If extensive root planing was performed, chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable. Avoid any hard foods such as potato chips, popcorn, etc. for the next 3-4 days. Discomfort should last no longer than a few days. A soft food diet is advised until chewing becomes more comfortable.
- Oral Hygiene: It is recommended that patients who have received this type of treatment return for a 6-week re-evaluation and then cleanings every 3-4 months for the first year. Please do not smoke following scaling and root planing procedures. Tobacco smoke is an irritant to healing. Refrain from smoking for at least 48 hours.
Teeth WhiteningHow To Get The Best Results
- Follow the instructions included in your kit. The total treatment time is usually 2-3 weeks. But some cases may take longer, especially if treatment is interrupted.
- Make sure you brush and floss thoroughly prior to each treatment. The bleaching gel can work better if it is in contact with the tooth rather than plaque buildup.
- Teeth Whitening works best on yellow stained teeth. Gray teeth are more difficult to whiten, or may not respond to treatment. Such cases may require porcelain veneers to achieve the desired result.
- "Touch-up" treatments may be needed every 3-6 months. This can usually be accomplished in 1 or 2 treatments of 1-2 hours each. A special touch-up kit is available at our office.
- Existing fillings, crowns, bonding, etc. will not whiten. Therefore, these restorations may need to be changed in order to match your new smile. We can replace silver fillings with composite to match your tooth color, and replace old crowns with metal-free porcelain for a more natural look.
- It is important to keep your 2-week follow-up appointment, so we can assess the results or make changes in treatment as needed.
- Mild sensitivity to cold liquids or air may occur. This usually passes a few days after treatment is completed. If the sensitivity is severe or persists, discontinue using the gel and contact our office.
- If you experience any gum irritation, let us know. Your custom tray may need to be adjusted.
- Results can be quite dramatic. However upon completion of the teeth whitening process, the color will “tone down” somewhat. This is normal and actually looks more natural.
- Long term results vary from patient to patient. This can depend on many factors including habits such as smoking or coffee, tea, wine, or cola consumption.
Veneers, Crowns and Bridges
If your temporary crown/bridge becomes loose or comes off at any time, please call the office immediately. Your tooth can shift within a few hours if your temporary is missing. This can inhibit the placement of your permanent crown.
- Avoid hard and chewy foods (such as ice, hard candy, gum, taffy). If your temporary falls off, please gently place it back onto your prepared tooth and call the office.
- It is important to floss your temporary. However, instead of pulling the floss back up through the teeth, release one end of the floss and pull it through the side of the tooth.
Your anesthesia will wear off in approximately 1-3 hours after the procedure. It is very important not to chew on the numb side (to prevent biting tongue, lip, etc.) until the anesthesia wears off.
Your tooth (or teeth) may be sensitive to the cold, heat or pressure from this procedure. This is completely normal. The more invasive the procedure, the more sensitivity you may experience. In very few instances will this sensitivity last more than 1-2 weeks. As long as your teeth or gums are continuing to feel better it’s indicative of recovery.
If Ibuprofen is prescribed it is not for pain. Instead it reduces the inflammation in the area worked on, and will further eliminate sensitivities if taken as directed. If discomfort continues for more than a couple of weeks, please call our office at 734-427-7555.