After any dental procedure, it’s important to follow our team’s instructions to ensure proper healing and avoid preventable complications. Below, you’ll find a quick guide to what a dental patient should do after a number of common dentistry procedures. Our team will explain these instructions to you when you’re in our dental office, but if you need a quick refresher, the page below will provide an excellent reference. As always, if you ever have any questions, feel free to give us a call.
Root Canal Therapy
Right after a root canal, you can expect a little bit of soreness in and around the tooth for a few days. Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the root canal was performed to avoid irritating the area or damaging the temporary restoration. You may also be instructed to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection, so make sure to do so as instructed. If you experience an increasing amount of pain, swelling, or tenderness in the area, or if your temporary restoration falls out, be sure to give us a call as soon as you can.
Dental Crowns and Bridges
After your initial appointment to get a crown or bridge, you will be fitted with a temporary restoration while your final one is being made. This will not be as sturdy as your permanent restoration, so be careful while chewing or cleaning your teeth so you do not accidentally damage it. Specifically, be sure to floss with a light touch and avoid eating sticky or chewy foods until you have your final restoration in place.
Once your real crown or bridge has been placed, you will likely experience some sensitivity in the area of your mouth. This is to be expected and should go away after a few days. You can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater or take an OTC pain medication to help with any discomfort as well.
Your bite might feel a bit different right after you’ve received your permanent crown or bridge. This is normal, and your mouth will adjust over the course of a few days. To take care of your restoration, you should brush and floss regularly, making sure to clean around the base of the restoration where plaque and tartar can accumulate on your remaining natural tooth. Of course, if you feel any lingering pain or your bite doesn’t feel normal within a week, give us a call right away.
White Fillings (Dental Bonding)
Your mouth will initially feel a bit numb because of the local anesthesia, and once this wears off, your tooth and the surrounding area may feel a bit sensitive. Initially, you should avoid hot and cold foods or beverages for a few days to allow your mouth to heal. After that, you’ll be able to care for the tooth just like any other, with brushing and flossing.
Scaling and Root Planing
Your gums will probably feel a little bit sore right after this procedure. To help, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water 2-3 times a day. You’ll be able to brush and floss right after scaling and root planing, but you should do so with a light touch as to not cause any irritation. A cold compress can be placed on the face if you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area, and you can take an OTC pain-reliever as well. It’s best to avoid any hard or chewy foods for a few days after the procedure to give your mouth time to heal. If swelling or pain persists for more than a week or is seemingly getting worse, be sure to give us a call.
After your first appointment to get porcelain veneers, you will be fitted with a temporary set while your final veneers are being made. These will not be as sturdy or strong as real veneers, so it’s best to be careful while chewing or cleaning your teeth. Be especially diligent while flossing to not accidentally pull on a restoration and dislodge it. You should also avoid eating any particularly hard or chewy foods as well.
Once you have received your real veneers, your bite will probably feel a bit different as it adjusts to the new shape of your teeth. This is normal, and this sensation should go away after a week or so. However, if it persists, or if you experience any pain or swelling in the area where your veneers have been placed, you should contact us right away.
The best way to take care of your new veneers is to treat them like natural teeth, so consistent brushing and flossing is paramount. To protect your investment, it’s wise to wear a mouthguard while playing sports, and if you grind your teeth at night, ask our team about getting a nightguard you can wear to bed.
Right after you’ve had a tooth extracted, you will need to take the rest of the day off. You should be driven home by a friend or family member because you’ll likely still be feeling the anesthesia. A bit of bleeding and swelling in and around the extraction area is normal, and we will apply a gauze dressing before you leave our office. This will need to be changed every few hours as it becomes soaked. If the area continues to bleed heavily for more than 24 hours, be sure to give us a call.
It’s also important that you do not lay down flat for the first day or so after an extraction. Keeping your head somewhat upright, even while sleeping, will help the area clot and prevent any excess bleeding. You should also avoid drinking from a straw, spitting, or smoking, as they can all lead to complications during healing. To help manage any pain or swelling, you can place a cold compress on your face, and you may be prescribed medication by your dentist. Be sure to take it as instructed.
You’ll likely need to stick to a soft food diet for the first few days after an extraction. This can include items like:
- Mashed potatoes/peas
- Ice cream
It’s best to stock up on these items before your extraction so you’ll be prepared afterward. Nothing is worse than having to go to the store while you’re recovering!