Post Op Instructions
What do I do after scaling and root planing therapy?
Following scaling and root planning, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling of your gum tissues. Your teeth may feel smoother, and your mouth will taste and feel better. Your gum health must be maintained with proper home care, as instructed, and regular professional care.
When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. It is recommended that you take some ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil, 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed) before the anesthetic completely wears off. This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where the anesthetic was administered.
It is not unusual for the teeth to be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, and/or sweets. This occurs as the gum tissue heals and shrinks in size. Brushing two to three times daily with sensitivity toothpaste or using fluoride rinses may help alleviate this over time. If sensitivity continues or is severe, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.
For a few days, a soft diet is recommended, chewing on the opposite side.
Consistent and thorough daily oral hygiene is essential to the proper healing of your gum tissues. Brushing, flossing and rinsing with recommended products are critical. Use your Oxyfresh products, or if prescribed, Peridex (Chlorhexidine).
If a localized antibiotic (Arestin) was placed, DO NOT floss for 10 days. Please follow all additional instructions given to you at your appointment. Please remember to keep all appointments to complete the treatment and all follow-up appointments thereafter.
What do I do after a root canal?
Root canal therapy often takes two or more appointments to complete. A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments. After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
Between appointments it is common (and not a problem) for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. If the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call us so that it can be replaced.
It’s normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing. To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. To further reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a tsp. of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit).
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them as prescribed, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. To protect the tooth and help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (especially gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. It’s important to continue to brush and floss normally.
Usually, the last step after root canal treatment is the placement of a crown on the tooth. A crown covers and protects the tooth from breaking in the future. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent swelling or pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.
How do I care for my crown?
1. After your first appointment for crown treatment, a temporary crown is usually placed on the tooth or teeth involved. The temporary crown protects the site while the custom crown is being produced. Temporary cement is used so that the crown can be easily removed at your next appointment.
2. If your temporary crown comes off before your next appointment, follow these
-Before you open the cement pack, try your temporary crown on. Make sure it fits correctly. Please note that we do not provide cement if we did crowns on your front teeth.
-Wash out the temporary crown with water and dry completely
-Cut open the temporary cement packet along the line. Squeeze a small amount from both sides onto the mixing pad (white square included)
-Use the white stick to mix cement gel and paste together until uniformly blended
-Use the cotton end of the purple stick to place the mixed cement into your temporary crown. (Use a small amount, you have 4 minutes until the cement hardens)
-Once you have placed the cement into your temporary crown, place it on your tooth and bite down on a cotton roll (included)
-Wait 1 minute, remove cotton roll, and continue to bite down for another 2-3 minutes
-Try not to eat any sticky candy or chew gum as these will stick to your temporary and cause your temporary crown to come off.
3. With your temporary crown and with your permanent crown, you may
experience some discomfort due to irritation of the area during the treatment
procedures. You may also experience sensitivity to cold or pressures.
4. Your new permanent crown will be shaped and shaded especially to your teeth
in color and fit. The temporary crown is made to serve you temporarily, so its
color and fit are not custom-matched to your teeth.
5. After your new permanent crown is in place you may need a few days to
adjust to it. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an
appointment and we can adjust it.
6. Care for your new crown with proper brushing and flossing. It is especially
important to keep the edge of the crown clean at the gum line.
What do I do after an extraction?
After an extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after the extraction. If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another thirty minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms it is important to protect it, especially for the next 24 hours. So Don’t: smoke, suck through a straw, rinse your mouth vigorously, or clean the teeth next to the extraction site. These activities will dislodge the clot and slow down healing. Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours, this keeps your blood pressure lower, reduces bleeding and helps the healing process.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and have some swelling. You can use an ice bag to keep this to a minimum. The swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.
Use pain medication only as directed, call the office if it doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods on the day of the extraction. Don’t drink alcoholic or carbonated beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods. You can begin eating normally the next day or as soon as it is comfortable.
Gently rinse your mouth with salt water three times a day beginning the day after the extraction(s) (a tsp. of salt in a cup of warm water). Also, rinse gently after meals, it helps keep food out of the extraction site(s). It is very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours; this should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing at least once a day. This speeds healing and helps keep your breath and mouth fresh.
Enclosed in the post-operative kit you you will find a syringe of Oxygel. The gel is used to help with oral discomfort. Oxygel helps condition and deodorize wounds, abrasions and irritated gums. Apply a small amount of gel from the syringe to the extraction site(s). Massage gums gently with gel, using a Q-tip applicator as needed. Use twice a day to soothe gums and promote healing. Oxygel is all natural and not harmful if swallowed.
Some oozing and discoloration of the saliva is normal. If bleeding persists, place gauze over the area and maintain pressure for an additional 30 min.
How do I care for my bridge?
Bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. On the first appointment, the teeth are prepared. A temporary bridge is placed to protect the teeth while the custom restorations are being made.
After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
To help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (especially gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. On rare occasions, the temporary bridge can come off. Call us if this happens, and keep the temporary so it can be re-cemented. It’s very important for the proper fit of your final restoration that temporaries stay in place. It’s normal to experience some sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure after each appointment.
Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse three times a day with warm salt water to reduce pain and swelling. Use medication only as directed.
It’s important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully and pull the floss out from the side to prevent pulling out the temporary crown. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call us immediately.