Just like any other surgery, proper post-operative care is necessary after dental surgery to ensure healing and avoid complications. As a basic rule, you must not eat for at least two hours after surgery to let the anesthesia wear off. Eating before this could cause soft tissue damage since you will not be able to feel all of your mouth under the effect of anesthesia. The instructions mentioned herein are general guidelines to be followed after oral surgery. Your dentist or dental assistant will give you proper instructions on the after care specific to the surgery you have undergone.
Root Canal Therapy
Experiencing soreness for a few days after root canal surgery is common. One should avoid chewing using the side of the mouth that has been treated since it could lead to irritation and to also allow the temporary restorative material to set properly in the mouth. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics post surgery to treat any remaining infection in the tooth. In case you experience increased swelling or tenderness, loss of temporary filling or any reaction to prescribed medication, please contact your dentist immediately.
White Filling (Bonding)
It is best to avoid very hot or very cold food and drink a few days after treatment since you are likely to experience sensitivity after the anesthesia wears off. Your teeth will feel as good as new after the initial period. Practice good dental hygiene to ensure that your fillings last a long time.
A temporary restoration is attached before you actually receive your permanent veneers. While this temporary filling is in place, you should practice caution while cleaning and eating. Make sure you are very gentle while brushing and do not pull on the tooth while flossing since that could dislodge the tooth. Avoid eating sticky or chewy foods with the temporary restoration on.
It is normal to experience some sensitivity after getting the temporary or permanent veneer. This subsides after the soft tissue has healed. Use a warm water salt rinse to get rid of pain and sensitivity. You can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.
Your mouth will need time to adjust to the new tooth, so you may feel awkward for a few days after getting the veneer. This should start feeling like a natural tooth in less than a week. However, you should contact your dentist immediately if your bite feels abnormal in any way. Pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line while brushing or flossing.
Crowns and Bridges
You will receive a temporary restoration before getting a permanent bridge or crown. Since this temporary filling is not as sturdy as a permanent one, you should be careful eating and cleaning while it is in place. Be gentle while brushing and flossing. Avoid sticky and chewy foods and do not pull on the tooth while flossing since that could dislodge the tooth.
It is normal to experience some sensitivity after getting the temporary or permanent crown or bridge. This subsides after the soft tissue has healed. Use a warm water salt rinse to get rid of pain and sensitivity. You can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.
Feeling a little awkward until a few days after getting a new bridge or crown is common since your mouth takes time to adjust to the new tooth. This should start feeling like a natural tooth in less than a week. However, you should contact your dentist immediately if your bite feels abnormal in any way. Maintaining good oral hygiene such as regular brushing and flossing is a good practice to take care of your bridge or crown and your natural teeth as well.
Root Planing and Scaling
Your gums may feel slightly sore and irritated for a few days after this procedure. Use a warm salt-water rinse (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) two to three times a day to ease pain and cleanse the mouth. Regular brushing and flossing can be continued right after the procedure. Brushing should be gentle to avoid irritating the area. Use a cold compress to subside any swelling or stiffness. Pain relievers can also be taken. Hard or chewy foods are best avoided for two to three days after surgery to ensure proper healing. Contact your dentist if you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days.
Request a friend or family member to accompany you for surgery since you will need to be driven home due to anesthesia. The extraction site may bleed for a while after surgery. Gauze is applied after the surgery, which needs to be changed once it becomes soaked. Take a rest after surgery, but avoid lying flat since it could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head on a pillow while lying down. Call your dentist if the bleeding lasts more than 24 hours. Your dentist will prescribe pain medication to control post-surgery soreness. You can also apply an icepack on the area to relieve pain. Your dentist also may prescribe a cleaning solution for the extraction site.
Limit food intake to soft and liquid foods for a few days after surgery. These may include thin soups, pudding, mashed potatoes, yogurt, gelatin and ice cream.
Do not use a straw for drinking since the sucking action could loosen your sutures and slow the clotting at the extraction site. Avoid smoking. Contact your dentist if you experience prolonged bleeding, irritation or pain or if you feel the area is not healing properly.