Post Operation Instructions

Post-Op Instructions Are Important

Post operation instructions are given in order to help you recover thoroughly after oral surgery. If you will follow these instructions carefully, you should heal properly and avoid any complications. As a basic starting point, it is wise to wait at least two hours after any surgery before eating. This waiting period will allow the anesthesia to wear completely away. If you eat during this time, it is possible that you could damage the soft tissue in your mouth or throat since the anesthesia will keep you from feeling all of your mouth. There are specific guidelines given below for a variety of specific procedures. After any surgery, your dentist will give you a complete list of instructions to avoid complications after surgery.

You will almost certainly experience some soreness in your mouth for several days after a root canal treatment. You can protect the affected area by not chewing on the side of your mouth where the treatment occurred. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is important for you to take all of it according to the instructions. You should call your dentist immediately if you notice increasing pain or tenderness in the area of the treatment. Also call your dentist if you experience a reaction to your medication or if your temporary filling or crown falls out.

While you are waiting for your permanent crown or bridge, you will be wearing a temporary restoration. Since it is temporary, you need to be gentle while eating and with your oral hygiene in the area of this temporary restoration. Chew gently and avoid foods that are sticky or chewy.

You may experience low levels of discomfort with the temporary and the permanent restoration. This is to be expected and will gradually subside as your body heals. The occasional use of a warm, salt-water rinse can provide some relief. You may also want to take an Advil or Tylenol to help with the pain.

Be prepared for the permanent crown or bridge to feel a bit odd for a few days. Just give it a few days and it should feel just as natural as your existing teeth. Let your dentist know if your bite still feels unnatural after a more extended period of time. You should care for your new bridge or crown in exactly the same way that you care for your real teeth. Brush and floss thoroughly a couple of times a day.

As the anesthesia begins to wear away, your teeth will probably feel sensitive. Make it a point to avoid hot/cold food and drinks for several days. Once the sensitivity has worn away, you should be able to eat and drink whatever you enjoy. Be sure to continue a thorough oral hygiene program like always.

After a scaling and root planing procedure, you can expect your gums to be sore. This may even last for several days. You can relieve the pain and cleanse the gums by rinsing with a warm, salt-water solution. While you should continue to brush and floss, you will want to do it gently while the soreness lasts. If your gums begin to swell, you may want to place a cold compress over the area. Use a non-prescription painkiller as needed. It is recommended that you avoid hard or chewy foods for at least 2-3 days after the procedure to allow the gums time to heal properly. Contact your dentist if pain or swelling persists more than a few days.

You will be wearing a temporary veneer while you are waiting for your permanent veneer. This temporary veneer will not be as sturdy, so you need to be gentle while eating, brushing, and flossing. You could possibly dislodge the temporary veneer. For this same reason, you should avoid any foods that are sticky or chewy while you are wearing your temporaries.

You will likely experience sensitivity and irritation after the temporary/permanent veneer is placed. This is to be expected and will decrease as the soft tissue begins to heal. Use warm, salt water to cleanse your mouth and relieve the pain. You may also want to use Advil or Tylenol as a mild pain killer.

After the permanent veneer is placed, it may feel strange for several days. Give your mouth time to adjust to the new veneer. Ultimately, it will feel like a natural tooth in a short amount of time. You should let your dentist know if your bite does not feel normal. Each time that you brush, you should pay special attention to the area between your tooth and the new veneer right at the gum line.

You will want to take the time to rest after an extraction has been done. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home due to the effects of the anesthesia. The area around the extraction site will likely bleed for a while after the extraction. Your dentist will apply gauze to the area, and he will give you a supply of replacement gauze to use as the bandage becomes soaked. Let your dentist know if the bleeding continues beyond a 24-hour period. While you should rest, you should not lie flat. Prop your head up higher than your heart in order to diminish the bleeding. Your dentist will give you a subscription for a pain killer, so use it as necessary and as directed on the instructions. An ice pack will also be beneficial in relieving pain. In some cases, your dentist will provide you with a special cleaning solution for cleaning around the extraction site.

For several days it will be best for you to eat soft foods. These are recommended:

  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Gelatin
  • Ice Cream
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Thin Soups
  • Any food you can eat and swallow without chewing

It is important that you do not use a straw during this healing time as it may dislodge the sutures that are closing your incisions and it may slow the blood-clotting process. Smokers should also avoid smoking for several days. You should call your dentist if the pain persists, the bleeding persists, the extraction site becomes irritated, or if the extraction site does not seem to be healing as it should.