It is important to follow instructions after you have dental treatment to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications.
As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after treatment 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 and you can accidently bite your cheek or lips and not know it. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your treatment the doctor or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from whatever procedure you underwent.
Root Canal Therapy
You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. For a few hours, you should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed. This is so the anesthesia can wear off, so you do not irritate the area, and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You may also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in the area. 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 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 the temporary could become dislodged. Also be careful when eating, you should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.
There may be some sensitivity and irritation in the surrounding gums after the temporary or permanent restoration 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 needed.
Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.
Tooth Colored (Bonding)
After the anesthesia wears off, your teeth may be sensitive. If that sensitivity lasts longer than a few days, please let us know. After that initial period, your treated teeth should feel normal again. Continue your normal hygiene plan to help ensure that your fillings last for a long time.
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 soreness and cleanse the area. Over the counter pain medication such as Advil can be taken if needed. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently to minimize any further irritation to the area. Continue flossing as normal unless instructed otherwise by your hygienist. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the scaling to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days, contact your dentist.
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 the temporary could become dislodged. Also be careful when 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 as needed.
When the veneer is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new restoration, and it should feel like a 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.
After the surgery you will need to rest. Although only a local anesthetic is used, some patients prefer to have a friend or family member drive them. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when and if it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so that if post-operative discomfort occurs you can take it as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain, 10 minutes on & 10 minutes off, for 30-40 minutes if needed. Your dentist might 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 or cause a dry socket. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.