Post-Operative Care after Scaling & Root Planning
During your cleaning appointment, bacterial plaque and tartar have been removed from the root surface below the gum line with instruments and ultrasonics. The following tips will help to maximize healing and minimize any discomfort.
- Do not smoke. It’s better to refrain for 48 hours.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages will retard the healing process.
- Avoid foods that are extreme in temperature or spicy.
- Avoid using any strong mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
- You may take a non-aspirin analgesic to relieve any tenderness or discomfort, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Eat a well-balanced soft diet for today. You may chew on the opposite side of the treated area until it is comfortable to chew normally.
- Rinse with a warm salt water rinse: ½ teaspoon in an 8 oz. glass of water, 3 times a day.
- Brush your teeth very lightly in the treated area the first night. Then begin flossing lightly as well the next day, gradually increasing to normal force by the week’s end.
- After flossing and brushing, rinse with chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex), if it was prescribed, for at least 60 seconds. Do this at least twice daily.
- Several days after treatment your gums should begin to appear pinker, less swollen, and will bleed less when you floss. These are signs of healing and improving periodontal health.
If you have any questions or problems, please call our office.
Post-Operative Care After Fillings
Refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.
Your new filling has been carefully checked to ensure that your bite has been restored to how it originally was; however, due to the anesthetic and the fact that your jaw has been open for up to 1 hour, it may take a few hours after your appointment before you can accurately tell how your bite feels. If your bite feels unbalanced after your anesthetic wears off, please be sure to call our office for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment. For the first few days, avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off due to the procedure. If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to increase your comfort. If your tooth continues to feel sensitive after a few days, and is not gradually getting better but worse, it may be an indication that the new filling needs an adjustment to even out your bite. Please call the office sooner rather than later to have a simple adjustment done.
Although the treatment that was performed is quite durable, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and filling. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of foods containing sugar will increase the longevity of your new restoration.
Post-Operative Care After Root Canal Treatment
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.
Between appointments, it’s 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 to have it repaired or replaced.
- Avoid chewing sticky foods (especially gum).
- Avoid hard foods and hard substances, such as ice, fingernails and pencils.
- If possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth.
It’s normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing. To control discomfort, Advil or Tylenol can be taken as needed. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
To further reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times a day with warm salt water – dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, then rinse, swish, and spit.
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.
Post-Operative Care After Crown or Bridge Placement
Refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.
A temporary is a crown or bridge that is placed on the prepared teeth while the final restoration is being made. The temporary protects the exposed tooth so it is not sensitive, prevents food and bacteria from collecting on the prepared teeth, and prevents the tooth from shifting or moving, which can make seating of the final restoration more difficult. The temporary is placed with lightweight cement that is designed to come off easily so avoid chewing sticky foods such as gum, caramels, etc.
It is very important to keep the tooth and surrounding gums very clean and healthy before your final appointment to cement the crown or bridge. If your gums are inflamed, bleeding will occur very easily during your appointment, making seating of the crown or bridge difficult. Follow the following home care instructions:
- Use your toothbrush to clean the temporary as you normally do your other teeth.
- When flossing, it is best to pull the floss through the contact rather than lift up on the temporary so you don’t accidentally loosen the temporary.
- If your temporary comes off between appointments, slip it back on and call our office so that we can re-cement it for you. A little denture adhesive or toothpaste placed inside the crown can help to hold it in place in the interim.
Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment. It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off due to the procedure.
- For the first few days, avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages.
- If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water.
- An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to increase your comfort.
After the final cementation of your restoration, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge. If your bite feels unbalanced, or the new restoration feels high when you bite down, please be sure to call our office for an appointment for a simple adjustment. Other symptoms which show that your restoration needs adjustment is sensitivity to biting down or eating, and sensitivity to cold.
Although crowns and bridges are often the most durable of all restorations, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and crown. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restorations.
Post-Operative Care After Teeth Extractions
In doing so you may invite irritation, infection and/or bleeding. Chew on the opposite side for the first 24 hours.
Smoking will promote bleeding and interfere with healing.
This will promote bleeding and may dislodge the blood clot, which could result in a dry socket.
If the area is not closed with stitches, a pressure pack made of folded sterile gauze pads will be placed over the socket. Bite down firmly on the gauze to control bleeding and to encourage clot formation. Keep the gauze in place for 30 minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped once the original pack is removed, place a new gauze pad over the extraction site. If you run out of gauze, you can use a moistened tea bag instead.
The morning after your extraction, you may see a lot of blood in the sink. Do not worry, as this is just a small amount of blood mixed with saliva. If the socket has started bleeding again, continue using the gauze pads or tea bags to stop the bleeding.
After surgery, some swelling is to be expected. This can be controlled through the use of cold packs, which slow the circulation. A cold pack is usually placed at the site of swelling during the first 24 hours in a cycle of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
Anti-inflammatory medication such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen are used to control minor discomfort following oral surgery. If you require stronger prescription medication, call the office and speak to the dentist.
A soft diet may be prescribed for the patient for a few days following surgery. Protein shakes and clear soup are suitable options.
After the first 24 hours, rinse with warm salt water every two hours to promote healing. (one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water). Be sure to hold the salt water in your mouth, over the socket, for at least 2-3 minutes. Swishing and spitting the salt water out will not adequately disinfect the socket.
We will also give you a syringe to flush the socket out after meals. You can use plain water or the salt water in the syringe.
Following the removal of your wisdom teeth, it is important that you call our office if any unusual bleeding, swelling or pain occurs. The first 6-8 hours after the extraction are typically the worst, but are manageable with ice packs and non-prescription pain medication.