Post-Operative Care

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. 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.

Instructions Following Fillings

Do not eat or chew until any numbness from anesthesia has worn off. If you are supervising a child who had treatment, make certain that they are not eating or chewing while numb. Please make sure they do not bite their lips or tongue as it can cause serious injury to their soft tissue. Avoid sticky, crunchy, or hard foods for 24 hours. 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.

Sensitivity can last a few weeks with deeper or multiple-surface fillings. Call our office if bite feels off once anesthetic has worn off.

Occlusal guards, retainers, or sleep apnea appliances may need adjustment following placement of a filling. Please make sure to call for a 10 to 15-minute appointment.

Instructions Following Denture or Partial Delivery

You may have discomfort for a few days after receiving your final dentures or partials. Dentures and partials will often need several adjustments in order to fit comfortably. To help adjust to your dentures, you can practice reading aloud for a little while each day.

At night, you should remove your dentures and clean them. Do not sleep with them in your mouth. They should be stored in a clean container filled with denture cleaning solution. Dentures should be removed for at least 6 hours a day to give your mouth and gums time to rest. Food particles can become trapped under dentures, causing inflammation or sore spots. Brush the roof of your mouth and tongue and lightly brush your gums after removing your dentures.

Ongoing care for your restoration includes brushing your teeth and surrounding tissues after every meal and snack. If you have partial dentures, floss at least once a day before bedtime. If you have full dentures, there is no need to floss, but 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 dentures adjusted and checked by the doctor. Through the years, our jaw bones may shift, causing the denture to loosen. Relining the denture maybe necessary to improve the fit of the the denture. Please call our office at the first signs of any symptoms or if you are experiencing ongoing pain or discomfort.

Instructions Following Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing therapy includes removing tartar and bacterial plaque from the root surface below the gum line. This helps reduce inflammation and infection it can improve the depth of periodontal pockets, therefore allowing more efficient flossing and brushing. For the first 24 hours, you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity. Do not eat or drink hot foods or beverages until the numbness has worn off following anesthetic. Avoid vigorous physical exercise and extremely hot or spicy foods for the first 24 hours. 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, resuming normal brushing and flossing when the soreness is gone.

If an antimicrobial mouthwash such as chlorhexidine Gluconate or peridex has been prescribed for you, rinse with it for 30 seconds daily before bedtime. Do not drink or eat for 30 minutes afterward. Follow any other instructions provided by our office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed.

Instructions Following Dental Extractions

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. Bleeding. Following extractions some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over bleeding are and bite down firmly for one-half hour. Repeat if necessary.

Swelling - Ice bag or chopped ice wrapped in a towel should be applied to area, one-half hour on and one-half hour off for 4-5 hours.

Pain - For mild to average pain, use any non-aspirin over-the-counter medication you like.

Food - A light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours.

Bony Edges - Small, sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots. If bothersome, return to our office for their simple removal.

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 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.

Instructions Following Crown and Bridge Procedures

Crowns and Bridges may take one to three visits to complete. The dentist will inform you of your treatment options and the time needed to complete the procedure. You may have some sensitivity following treatment with tenderness around the gums and tooth for a day or two. If the tenderness or sensitivity lasts longer than this, please contact our office.

If anesthesia is used, avoid chewing, biting, and eating until the numbness has worn off. If you have a temporary cown placed, eat softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly crunchy, chewy, or hard. Do not floss around the temporary crown. If the temporary restorations become loose or break, please call us immediately.

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, although this happens infrequently.

Call the office if the bite feels high or off once anesthetic wears off.
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 will also help to remove any additional particles that may have been missed during brushing and flossing.

Occlusal guards, retainers, or sleep apnea appliances may need to be adjusted following placement of a crown or bridge. Please call our office if you are in pain or have any questions regarding your treatment.

Instructions for Teeth Whitening

If you follow these simple post-whitening care instructions, your teeth should remain whiter than your original color for some time to come. Proper follow-up care includes daily flossing, twice-daily brushing, and occasional touch-ups with Zoom! Weekender or Nite White gel. You may experience some sensitivity during the Zoom! Treatment, although the warmth of the laser light should alleviate any discomfort. If your teeth or gums tend to be sensitive, you might ask your dentist for anti-sensitivity toothpaste to be used prior to treatment.

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