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 at least 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.
Root Canal Therapy
You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a 18-24 hours. 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 may 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.
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 it could dislodge the temporary crown. 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 hours. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth and it will feel like one of your natural teeth in after a couple meals. 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.
Scaling and Root Planing
After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated the remainder of that day. You can 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, crunchy, 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.
Before you receive your permanent veneer you might get 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 discomfort warrants it.
When the veneer is placed it may feel a little awkward for a day. 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.
Bite down on a sterile pad for half an hour. If active bleeding has not stopped or decreased considerably, use a fresh gauze pad for an additional 30 minutes. If bleeding should recur, bite down on a gauze pad that has been dipped in ice water, or moistened tea bag. *Slight oozing for 24 hours is normal.
Some discomfort may be experienced following oral surgical procedures. Two Tylenol or aspirin tablets every four hours will usually relieve discomfort. If greater discomfort is anticipated a prescription will be given.
Do NOT rinse your mouth the day of extraction. The following day, use a salt solution (one quarter teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water) every three hours to cleanse the affected area.
Some swelling of the jaw may be noticed. Do not be alarmed by this reaction of the tissues to surgery. Apply an ice bag or a towel wrapped around cracked ice to the affected area for a 15 minute interval. Remove for 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure for the 24 hour following surgery. Swelling may cause some limitation of opening the mouth for several days.
Do not eat until numbness is gone. Soft food is desirable for the period immediately following your visit. Chew solid food on opposite side of the mouth for 24 hours. Do NOT go without nourishment!
You might be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
…and any other food you can eat without chewing.
Actions creating pressure in the mouth should not be done the day of extraction (this includes smoking, spitting, drinking through a straw, and rinsing). Refrain, also, from all strenuous activities for 24 hours as they interfere with initial healing.
In case of severe pain, excessive bleeding, or unusual development, do not hesitate to call the office or the emergency number given on the recording.
M.J. Reider, DDS • 423 Waterfall Drive, Elkhart, IN 46516 • Office phone (574) 293-634