Whether you’re receiving treatment from your dentist here in Fairless Hills, PA or anywhere else, it’s very important to follow instructions closely after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and 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 time could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth, and you may accidentally bite and damage your cheeks, tongue, or other regions.
The instructions found below are guidelines for your reference. After your surgery, your family dentist or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover following your procedure.
Root Canal Therapy
You can expect some level of 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 sets properly. You will also need to take antibiotics 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.
Crowns and Bridges
Before you receive your permanent dental crown or bridge, you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you’ll need to be careful when brushing, flossing, and eating. You should brush the area gently and avoid pulling up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. Avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary restoration.
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 ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage the pain.
When the permanent dental 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 teeth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. Be sure to keep brushing and flossing regularly!
White Fillings (Bonding)
After the anesthesia wears off, your teeth will likely be sensitive. You should avoid hot and cold foods or drinks for the next few days. After this initial period, your treated teeth will feel as good as new! Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings serve you for a long time to come.
Scaling 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 region. Continue brushing and flossing right after the procedure, but be sure to brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area.
If you experience any swelling or stiffness, 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 everything heals properly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days, contact your dentist.
Before you receive your permanent dental veneer, you will have a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when brushing, flossing, and eating. Brush the area gently, and do not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating; 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; within a week, it’ll likely feel just like one of your natural teeth! If your bite feels abnormal in any way, contact your dentist here in Fairless Hills, PA, and we’ll schedule you in to make the necessary adjustments. When brushing and flossing, pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line, being extra careful in this region.
After the procedure, you will need to rest. You will have to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect the extraction site to bleed to some degree after the surgery. Gauze will be applied, and you will need to change it periodically.
If the bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours, call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat; this could prolong the bleeding. Instead, prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe pain medication, which you can take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for pain management. Your family dentist may also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
- …and other food you can eat without chewing.
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. Do not smoke. If you experience prolonged pain, bleeding, or irritation, or you feel that it is taking a long time for the extraction site to heal properly, call your dentist for a follow-up visit.