Post-Op Instructions


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.

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. On the first appointment the teeth are prepared. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours alter the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.

On rare occasions temporary crowns come off. Call us if this happens, and keep the temporary so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the proper fit of your final restoration that temporaries stay in place.

It’s normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a tsp. of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit) to reduce pain and swelling. Use medication only as directed.

To help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (especially gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. Its important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully and remove the floss from the side to prevent removal of the temporary crown.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

Immediately following surgery, keep the gauze pad placed over the surgical area with pressure applied by biting down until the bleeding stops. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following a surgical procedure. Placing the gauze pad over the area and biting firmly may control excessive bleeding. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Repeat as necessary within a one-hour period following surgery.

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.

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.

Thank you for selecting us for your root canal therapy. Please follow the guidelines below and contact us with any questions.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Please keep the area worked on clean by gently brushing the area and flossing regularly.
  6. It is rare for a temporary filling to fall out although it may divot 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 pharmacies and follow the included instructions.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

For the first 48 Hours Following Bleaching:

Teeth are more susceptible to staining for 48 hours after bleaching treatments. For the 48 hours after whitening, it is best to avoid dark-colored food or beverages that can stain your teeth. Any item that can stain your clothes, can also stain your teeth.

Avoid: berries, cola or other dark sodas, red wine, coffee and tea, tobacco and ketchup, soy or other dark sauces.

Using Your Custom Trays:

Follow the instructions given by our office, placing the bleaching gel in the center of each tooth position on the tray so that the gel will rest against the anterior surface of the teeth once it is placed in your mouth. Wear trays for the recommended time. Rinse the mouth and gently remove any gel remaining on your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush. Clean the trays.

Do

  • Use your fingers to put your aligners place. First place the aligners over your front teeth, and then use your fingers to push the aligner down gently over your molars. Aligners will fit tightly at first but should fit well at the end of the two week period.
  • Keep aligners in except when flossing, brushing, eating. It’s also best to remove the aligners when drinking warm beverages such as coffee or tea.
  • Remove the aligner by pulling it off both sides of your back teeth simultaneously then lifting it off of your front teeth.
  • Place your aligners in the case we provided any time they are not being worn.
  • Clean aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Wear each set of aligners for two weeks unless our office directs you to vary from this schedule.
  • Wear aligners in the correct numerical order. (Each aligner is labeled by number and with a U or an L to designate upper or lower.)
  • Keep all of your old aligners and bring them to your orthodontic appointments.

Don’t

  • Don’t place your aligners in or on a napkin or tissue. Many aligners have accidentally been thrown out this way!
  • Don’t use your teeth to “bite” your aligners into place.
  • If you have pets, don’t place your aligners anywhere that your pets can reach them. Pets are attracted to saliva and would enjoy chewing on your Invisalign trays!
  • Do not use Denture cleaner, alcohol, or bleach to clean your aligners.
  • Do not use boiling water or warm water on your aligners.
  • Don’t chew gum with your aligners in.
  • It would be best not to smoke while wearing aligners. The smoke can stain the aligners as well as your teeth.

Just in Case

If you lose the tab attached to your tooth that helps the aligner snap on, please call our office right away so that we can determine if you need to come in before your next scheduled appointment.

If you lose one of your aligner trays, please wear the next tray if you have it. If you do not have the next tray, please wear the previous tray. It is extremely important to use a tray to keep teeth from shifting. Call our office to let us know which tray was lost so that we can determine if a replacement tray is needed. There will be a fee if replacement trays are required.