Post-Op Instructions

Post-Op Instructions

It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the anesthesia wear off. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your surgery the doctor or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from surgery.


1Root Canal Therapy
You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed so you do not irritate the area and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) call your dentist immediately.
2Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.

When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.

3White Fillings (Bonding)

After the anesthesia wears off your teeth will likely be sensitive. You should avoid hot and cold food or drink for the next few days. After that initial period, your treated teeth will feel as good as new. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.

4Scaling and Root Planing

After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days contact your dentist.

5Veneers

Before you receive your permanent veneer you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.

When the veneer is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. When brushing and flossing you should pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line.

6Extractions

Instructions Following Extractions

Bleeding

  • A gauze pad has been placed on the extraction site to control bleeding. Moderate pressure should be applied for one-half hour. If bleeding continues, place new gauze for 1 hour. If placing new gauze, first wet it with water, squeeze out the excess water and bite on it with steady, firm pressure on the extraction site. For proper healing, it is important for a good blood clot to form.
  • Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding.
  • If bleeding is not easily controlled in the first two hours, place a run a teabag under water, squeeze out the excess water, and bite on it with firm, steady pressure on the extraction site. (The tannin in the tea will help to constrict the blood vessels in the area and stop the bleeding).
  • Red tinged saliva is normal for a few days following surgery and is not indicative of bleeding. Gauze placed against the wound will draw blood from the clot and this, likewise, is not a sign of bleeding.
  • Place an old towel over your pillow for the first night to reduce risk of staining.
  • If the bleeding persists, contact the office.

Control of the Blood Clot

  • After the surgery, a blood clot forms protecting the extraction socket. If the blood clot is lost this may cause a “dry socket”.
  • To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers.
  • DO NOT:
  • Drink liquids through a straw
  • Spit vigorously or
  • Smoke
  • FOR 5 DAYS as the suction created by these activities could result in a “dry socket”.
  • Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing, so if you have an upper respiratory infection or suffer from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus medication on hand.
  • Symptoms of a “dry socket” can present in the 2 weeks following an extraction, they include: throbbing into the ear, persistent ache, bad taste, a general feeling that the pain is getting worse after the third day, instead of getting better

Swelling

  • Swelling is normal after any kind of surgical procedure and will peak 72 hours after the surgery.
  • Ice packs may be helpful in reducing swelling. Apply ice for 20 minutes every hour for the first 24 hours.
  • If no pre-extraction infection was present, heat may be applied after 3 days.

Anesthesia

  • The local anesthesia may produce numbness for 2 -12 hours depending on the type used.

Hygiene

  • It is important to continue to brush and floss your teeth. Brushing your tongue can help eliminate bad breath and unpleasant taste that are common following extractions.
  • Avoid brushing directly over the surgical site until it has healed.
  • Sutures may have been used to close the surgical site. If resorbable sutures are used, the sutures will dissolve on their own anywhere from 3-10 days. If non-resorbable sutures were used, they should be removed in the dental office in 7 to 10 days.
  • Warm salt water rinses can start 24 hours following the procedure if desired. Gently rinse using 1/2 tsp. of salt to 8oz of water. Gently rinsing after meals will aid in keeping food out of the surgery site. Do not rinse vigorously as this will disturb the clot.

Diet

  • You may eat soft foods (i.e. eggs, soups, noodles, ice cream, yogurt) after the bleeding has been controlled and the gauze has been removed.
  • Avoid hard foods such as seeds, rice, nuts, chips, and popcorn.
  • You may resume a normal diet in 3-5 days or as tolerated.

Activity

  • Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following surgery.
  • By approximately 1 week after surgery, most routine activities may be resumed.

Pain

  • Discomfort after an extraction is normal. Take all pain-relieving medication  as prescribed. If possible, begin before the anesthetic wears off.
  • If you were not given a prescription for pain medication, take 3 tablets (600mg) of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, generic) every 6hrs. If you are unable to take ibuprofen due to stomach upset or stomach ulcers, consult your dentist or physician for an alternative treatment.
  • For children, the pain relievers of choice are children’s Tylenol or children’s Motrin.

Prescribed Medications

  • You may be given narcotic pain medication after surgery – DO NOT DRIVE if you are taking such medication.
  • If an antibiotic is prescribed it should be taken until gone unless otherwise instructed.
  • Please eat when taking medications to prevent nausea.

Bony Edges

  • Occasionally small slivers of bone may work through the gums during healing (4-6 weeks). They are not pieces of tooth and, if necessary, we will remove them. Please call our office if you are concerned.

If you develop unusual symptoms, including a high fever, contact the office right away at (972) 837-2929

7Implants

BLEEDING:  Small amounts of blood in the saliva can make your saliva appear quite red. This is normal and may be noticed the rest of the day after the procedure.

SMOKING:  Smoking should be stopped following surgery. Healing and success of the implant will be substantially reduced by the cigarette smoke chemicals in your body.

PAIN:  Some discomfort is normal after surgery. To minimize pain, Take two Tylenol, Nuprin, Advil, or similar non-aspirin pain reliever every 3 to 4 hours until bedtime to maintain comfort. Take it before the anesthesia wears off. If prescription pain medication is prescribed, take it as instructed on the label. Don’t exceed the dose on the label. Taking with food or milk will help reduce upset stomach. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when taking pain prescriptions. Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.

NAUSEA:  This is most often caused by taking pain medications on an empty stomach. Reduce nausea by preceding each pain pill with soft food, and taking the pill with a large glass of water.

SWELLING:   Applying an ice bag to the face over the operated area will minimize swelling. Apply for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes. Continue this for the first day.

NUMBNESS:  The local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area. Sometimes the implant procedure causes residual numbness or tingling for six weeks or longer.

BRUSHING:  Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After this, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery for 3 days.

RINSING:  Avoid all rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after your procedure. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon soda + 8 ounces warm water). Avoid commercial mouthrinses. You may be instructed to use a prescription antimicrobial mouthrinse.

DIET:  Eat soft foods for the first two days. Maintain a good, balanced diet. Return to normal regular meals as soon as you are able after the first two days. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

ACTIVITY:   After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Keeping blood pressure lower will reduce bleeding and aid healing.

ANTIBIOTICS:  If you were given an antibiotic prescription, take all of them as directed until they are gone. Women: some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Use alternate birth control methods for two months.

SINUS:  If your sinus was involved in the procedure, you should avoid blowing your nose or playing a wind musical instrument for one week. Use of decongestant medications might be recommended.

REMOVABLE APPLIANCES, DENTURES:  Your dentist will give you specific instructions about your prosthesis. To avoid putting any pressure on the new implants before they have healed, your denture might be adjusted or significantly modified. In certain cases you will need to go without your dentures for a period (days or weeks) after the implants are placed. Sometimes a temporary removable appliance is made for cosmetic purposes, until a new non-removable one can be made.

FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS:  You may need to return to the office within the first 14 days to have sutures removed, or just for a brief follow-up healing check. You may need to return after the implant has integrated for a small second procedure to expose it in preparation for the final restoration.

Please call your dentist if you have:

  • uncontrollable pain
  • excessive or severe bleeding
  • marked fever
  • excessive warm swelling occurring a few days after the procedure
  • reactions to medications, especially rash, itching, or breathing problems

Following these instructions very closely will greatly help your comfort, and promote uneventful healing of the area. If any of the instructions are not followed, you might have significantly more discomfort, and the success of the procedure may be affected.

If you have questions or concerns about your procedure, call or visit Paradise Dental in Melissa, TX and we’ll gladly answer any questions you might have! Paradise Dental – Proudly providing dental veneers, dental implants, crowns, root canals, teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, Invisalign, and comprehensive family dentistry to the Melissa area since 2008.

Call us now at (972) 837-2929 and let us know your post-op questions or concerns!