After your dental treatment at Garner & Nichols Dental, we strongly encourage you to follow these post-op instructions provided by our dentist. If you have any questions or need assistance, we invite you to call or visit our office. We are committed to helping you keep your smile healthy!
Post-Op Instructions – Fillings
If anesthetic was used as part of the treatment, your lips, tongue, cheeks, and teeth may be numb for several hours following the appointment. We recommend that you avoid chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. After your appointment, it is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as to pressure. Your gums may also be sore. To reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times per day with warm salt water (put one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water).
Avoid chewing hard foods and chewing directly on the new fillings for 24 hours after your appointment. You might want to try to chew only on the opposite side of the mouth.
If you experience persistent pain or if your bite feels uneven or “off,” please contact Garner & Nichols Dental.
Post-Op Instructions – Root Canal Therapy
In most cases, root canal therapy involves two appointments at our dental office. If we use anesthetic during your appointment, your teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue may be numb for several hours afterwards. Avoid eating and chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments; it is not unusual for a small portion of the temporary restoration to break off or wear away. This is not a problem, but if the entire filling falls out or if the temporary crown comes off, please call us as soon as possible so it can be replaced. Avoid eating sticky or hard foods, and try to chew only on the opposite side of the mouth to protect the tooth and keep the temporary crown or filling in place.
You may experience some discomfort for a few days following the root canal appointment, especially when chewing and eating. Take pain medication as recommended to control discomfort. You may also want to rinse three times per day with warm salt water (put one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) to further reduce pain and swelling.
If our dentists prescribe an antibiotic, continue to take the medication as prescribed, even if the symptoms of infection subside.
The last step in root canal therapy is usually the placement of a permanent dental crown. The crown restores the structure and function of the tooth and protects it from future damage. If your bite feels uneven after the crown has been placed, or if you have persistent swelling or pain, please call our dental office.
Post-Op Instructions – Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges typically require two to three appointments at our dental office. If we use anesthetic during the appointment, your teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue may be numb for several hours. Avoid chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
After the first appointment, our dentists will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth until the next appointment. Although it does not happen often, the temporary crown may come off. If this occurs, please keep the temporary crown and call our dental office as soon as possible so we can re-cement the crown. Avoid eating sticky or hard foods, and chew only on the opposite side of the mouth to help keep the temporary crown in place. Be sure to continue brushing your teeth normally, but floss carefully. Remove the floss from the side to prevent removing the temporary crown.
You can expect to experience some discomfort following each appointment. It is normal to experience increased sensitivity to pressure and to hot and cold temperatures. To reduce pain and swelling, take medication as directed and rinse three times per day with warm salt water (put one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water).
If your crown or bridge feels uneven after the final appointment, or if you experience persistent pain, please call our dental office.
Post-Op Instructions – Tooth Extraction
Following a tooth extraction, it is essential that a blood clot forms to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the extraction; if bleeding or oozing continues after removing the gauze pad, bite on a fresh gauze pad for another 30-45 minutes. Repeat this process until the bleeding stops.
After the formation of the blood clot, it is important to protect it for the next 24 hours. DO NOT:
- Drink or suck through a straw
- Clean the extraction site or the teeth next to the extraction site
- Vigorously rinse your mouth
These activities can dislodge the blood clot and slow the healing process. To keep your blood pressure lower and reduce bleeding, limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours following the extraction.
Use an ice bag to minimize swelling and pain after the extraction. The swelling usually begins to subside after 48 hours. Use pain medication only as directed; if the medication does not seem to be working, please contact our dental office. If our dentists prescribe antibiotics, continue to take them as prescribed, even if all of the symptoms of infection are gone. On the day of the extraction, drink lots of fluids and eat only soft, nutritious foods. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, and avoid spicy foods. You can resume eating normally the next day or whenever it is comfortable.
Beginning on the day after the extraction, rinse your mouth with warm salt water three times per day (put one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water). To help keep food out of the extraction site, rinse gently after meals as well. It is very important to resume your normal dental hygiene routine 24 hours after the extraction; this should include brushing your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Resuming your normal dental routine helps to speed healing and keeps your breath and mouth fresh. You will be able to fully resume your normal activities after just a few days.
If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, a reaction to the medication, or continued swelling after 2-3 days, please call us at Garner & Nichols Dental.