It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the anesthesia wear off. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your surgery the doctor or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from surgery.
RESIN FILLINGS (Tooth Colored Fillings)
After the anesthesia wears off your teeth will likely be sensitive. You should avoid hot and cold food or drink for the next few days. After that initial period, your treated teeth will feel as good as new. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.
SCALING & ROOT PLANING (Deep Cleaning)
After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days contact your dentist.
DENTAL IMPLANT CROWN
Typically, following placement of your dental implant, oral hygiene maintenance will be required every 3 months, alternating between the dentist and periodontist. Once the titanium implant and your jawbone have fused together, your jaw will provide a base of sturdy support for your replacement tooth. Essentially, it will be as strong as a natural tooth would be. Since the invasive portion of the procedure takes place when the implant is surgically inserted, attaching the crown (tooth portion) is not an issue. You may feel some slight sensitivity in your gums, but this will be minor and easy to control with ibuprofen. There will be no swelling or extensive recovery associated with this aspect of the process. You should be able to chew and eat normally.
ENDODONTIC TREATMENT (Root Canal)
You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed so you do not irritate the area and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) call your dentist immediately.
CROWNS & BRIDGES
Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in. There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away. When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.
Before you receive your permanent veneer you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in. There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away. When the veneer is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural teeth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. When brushing and flossing you should pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line.
After the surgery you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site. You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
- ...and other food you can eat without chewing
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.
DENTURES, PARTIALS & IMMEDIATE DENTURES
New dentures always require a period of adjustment. First-time denture patients may
require several weeks to get used to their new appliance. Speech may be altered and may require
adaptation of the tongue and lips.
For the first few days, you should wear your dentures as long as possible and chew soft
food in small bites. Remember, dentures do not have the same chewing efficiency as natural
teeth and may affect the taste of food. It is not unusual for sore spots to develop in isolated areas
of the mouth. If your bite feels uneven after several days, we can adjust your new denture for
better comfort. Contact us to arrange the best time for you to come in.
Proper cleaning of your denture is important to prevent stains and bacteria from
accumulating on your appliance. It’s best to use a brush designed for denture as well as a denture
cleaner rather than toothpaste, because some may be too abrasive for denture. Do not wear your
denture to bed and do not wear if you take a nap. It is important to allow your gum tissue and jaw bone to rest in order to prevent
further tissue irritation, infection, and future bone shrinkage.
Over time, or with weight loss or gain, the supporting gum tissue and bone may change
shape and size. Periodic relines of your denture may be necessary to ensure a retentive fit.
Denture teeth may wear or chip over time. For this reason, an annual check of your tissue and
denture is recommended.
For patients wearing immediate denture do not remove the denture for the
first 24 hours after extractions.
Follow all the post-operative instructions for extractions. Remove
the denture after 24 hours and clean using proper care instructions listed above. Keep all your
follow up appointments with the doctor who performed the extraction(s). Your denture will
loosen up as your gums and bone heal, typically 6-8 months after extractions. At this stage, you will need to come in for a reline
appointment for a better fit of the immediate denture.
If you do not wear your partial, immediate, or regular denture for a period of time, you
will notice that it will not fit properly. This is due to the natural changes that occur to your jaw
bone. In these cases relining, rebasing or even a new denture will be recommended.