Post Treatment Instructions
You will find what we recommend you do and anticipate after having particular procedures in our office performed such as root canals, extractions, fillings, and more.
- It is quite normal to have some swelling and even bruising. To reduce swelling apply ice packs for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off for the first 24 hours. After the first day, heat packs can be applied.
- It is normal to bleed sporadically for 2 to 3 days post operatively.
- Bite firmly on gauze for 20 minutes to 1 hour following surgery, changing gauze as necessary from the pack of extra gauze given at the end of your appointment. If bleeding persists, repeat these instructions.
- If bleeding begins in great volume, apply a dressing again with firm pressure for 1 hour. If, after 1-hour bleeding continues, apply a clean, damp tea bag as gauze. There are properties in the tea bag that will aid in the clotting process.
- If the bleeding persists after 1 hour with the tea bag, please phone the dental clinic or hospital IMMEDIATELY.
- You will have been booked for a follow up visit in one week to remove any stitches. Alternatively, you will have been informed that your stitches will dissolve on their own.
- No rinsing, no spitting, and no sucking through a straw for 4 hours.
- No smoking for 3 days.
- After the first 24 hours, a warm salt water rinse may be used. Put ½ tsp of salt in ½ cup of warm water and rinse gently. Frequent rinses, especially after eating, will help to promote healing. Start rinsing gently at first, and the more vigorously each day.
- If the clot is dislodged, a dry socket may occur. This is a very painful condition. If the surgical site becomes more painful several days after the procedure, please phone our clinic immediately, as it should be treated without delay.
- Your jaw joints may be sore for some time after surgery. This is very common.
- We recommend soft foods for the first few days.
- Finish all medication as prescribed.
- On some occasions there may be transient numbness in the face and jaw after extractions. This is called paresthesia and usually resolves itself spontaneously a short time after the occurrence in most cases. On rare occasions it is permanent.
- Your child has had 1 or more teeth “wiggled” out.
- The gauze needs to stay in place with biting pressure for 30 minutes. This will reduce the amount of bleeding.
- Give your child the appropriate dose of children’s Tylenol, Motrin or Advil when you take the gauze out (NO aspirin). Your child should only need this for approximately 12 to 24 hours. If pain persists beyond 48 hours, please call our office.
- Your child should eat only soft, bland food for the first couple days- nothing sharp, crunchy or too hot or cold because the area may be a sensitive. Encourage plenty of liquids (water, soups, juices, etc.). Let your child determine when a regular diet can be reintroduced.
- NO spitting or drinking through a straw or “sippy”cup. The force can start the bleeding again.
- A clean mouth heals faster. Gentle brushing around the extraction site can be started immediately along with warm salt water rinses (1/4 teaspoon to a glass of water) to aid with any discomfort.
- Activity may need to be limited. Sometimes a nap is a good idea.
- Swelling after an extraction is not uncommon and should not cause alarm. If this occurs, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off as needed in the 24 hours following tooth removal.
- Your child’s cheek, lip and tongue will be numb for approximately 1-2 hours. Please be very careful that your child does not bite at his/her cheek or pick at this area. As this area “wakes up” it may feel funny. A self-inflicted bite injury is the most common post-op complication. Please keep on eye on your child!
Bleeding: Small amounts of blood in the saliva can make your saliva appear quite red. This is normal and may be noticed the rest of the day after the procedure.
Smoking: Smoking should be stopped following surgery. Healing and success of the implant will be substantially reduced by the cigarette smoke chemicals in your body.
Pain: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. To minimize pain, take two Tylenol, Nuprin, Advil, or similar non-aspirin pain reliever every 3 to 4 hours until bedtime to maintain comfort. Take it before the anesthesia wears off. If prescription pain medication is prescribed, take it as instructed on the label. Don’t exceed the dose on the label. Taking with food or milk will help reduce upset stomach. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when taking pain prescriptions. Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.
Nausea: this is most often caused by taking pain medications on an empty stomach. Reduce nausea by preceding each pain pill with soft food, and taking the pill with a large glass of water.
Swelling: applying an ice bag to the face over the operated area will minimize swelling. Apply for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes. Continue this for the first day.
Numbness: the local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area. Sometimes the implant procedure causes residual numbness or tingling for six weeks or longer.
Brushing: do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After this, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery for 3 days.
Rinsing: avoid all rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after your procedure. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution ( ½ teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon soda + 8 ounces warm water). Avoid commercial mouth rinses. You may be instructed to use a prescription antimicrobial mouth rinse.
Diet: eat soft foods for the first two days. Maintain a good, balanced diet. Return to normal regular meals as soon as you are able after the first two days. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.
Activity: After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Keeping blood pressure lower will reduce bleeding and aid healing.
Antibiotics: If you were given an antibiotic prescription, take all of them as directed until they are gone. Women: some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Use alternate birth control methods for two months.
Sinus: If your sinus was involved in the procedure, you should avoid blowing your nose or playing a wind musical instrument for one week. Use of decongestant medications might be recommended.
Removable appliances, dentures: Your dentist will give you specific instructions about your prosthesis. To avoid putting any pressure on the new implants before they have healed, your denture might be adjusted or significantly modified. In certain cases, you will need to go without your dentures for a period (days or weeks) after the implants are placed. Sometimes a temporary removable appliance is made for cosmetic purposes. Until a new non removable one can be made.
Follow-Up appointments: You may need to return to the office within the first 14 days to have sutures removed, or just for a brief follow-up healing check. You may need to return after the implant has integrated for a small second procedure to expose it in preparation for the final restoration.
Please call your dentist if you have:
- Uncontrollable pain
- Excessive or severe bleeding
- Marked fever
- Excessive warm swelling occurring a few days after the procedure
- Reactions to medications, especially rash, itching, or breathing problems
Following these instructions very closely will greatly help your comfort. And promote uneventful healing of the area. If any of the instructions are not followed, you might have significantly more discomfort, and the success of the procedure may be affected.
The purpose of the root canal treatment is to remove diseased tissue from in side of the root and seal the root end. Depending on each case, endodontic treatment may be completed in one, two or three appointments. Once started, it is important to complete the root canal therapy.
After your root canal therapy has been completed:
Your root canal therapy will usually maintain your tooth and relieve the pain you may have been experiencing. Please avoid biting on the tooth for the next few days. It is not unusual for the tooth to be tender after a root canal, and healing occurs more quickly if you do not chew on it immediately. Avoid biting your lip, cheek, and tongue while anesthetized (numb) since this may cause damage.
Will I have discomfort after the treatment?
If your tooth was in pain prior to starting the treatment, it will take up to a week or more for the tooth get back to normal. Give the therapy a chance to work. If your tooth was not in pain prior to beginning treatment (likely because the tooth was abscessed or had a deep cavity that had not begun to hurt yet), your tooth may be quite sore for a few days after the appointment. This will be alleviated with time; it may take as much as a week or more. Should you have pain that you cannot tolerate, abnormal swelling, fever, or significant pain, please call our office. We will suggest medication or other steps to make you more comfortable.
Will I need pain medication?
Over the counter Acetaminophen (Tylenol™) and Ibuprofen (Advil™, Motrin usually alleviate the discomfort. Take pain relievers before the anesthetic wears off and continue taking for two or three days as directed. Following this recommendation may substantially decrease your after treatment discomfort. We recommend taking an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen. Take 600mg (3 x 200mg) over the counter Advil™ or Motrin™ four times per day for two to four days. What if I had swelling when I came to the office? The area may be tender for several days while it heals. If the swelling does not reduce after several days or increases, please call our office.
Do I need antibiotics?
In most cases, antibiotics are not required after endodontic therapy. You will be given a prescription for antibiotics if we feel it will be necessary. Some medical conditions require a special antibiotic prophylaxis regimen taken prior to the appointment to help prevent damage to certain structures.
How should I take care of my tooth?
You may continue regular dental hygiene regimen. Avoid biting or chewing on the tooth during the first few days. Avoid sticky foods like caramel, jellybeans, or gum since they may loosen or remove the temporary filling, which was placed. If the temporary filling feels loose or completely falls out, please call our office. It may need to be replaced.
Do I need to return for a final restoration?
A crown is recommended after having a root canal. Failure to complete the final restoration in a timely manner may result in the need for re-treatment of the root canal(s) in your tooth at an additional cost or possibly severe pain and infection or loss of the tooth due to fracture of the tooth and/or recontamination from leakage.
How long will my tooth last?
With proper care, your restored tooth can last a lifetime if healing is adequate. Teeth treated with endodontic therapy can still decay. As with other teeth, proper dental care requires regular brushing and flossing, a nutritious diet and regular dental visits.
Will I need to return for additional treatments?
Once root canal therapy is completed, your tooth may require periodic examination, usually 6-12 months. This allows us to make sure the tooth has is healing properly. Please call our office if your tooth feels unusual or discomfort persists after completion. Fortunately, most root canals heal with about a 90-95% success rate. Sometimes despite our best efforts, a small percentage of patients may need to have the root canal(s) retreated or will need root-end surgery (surgically clean the bone that surrounds the root tip and seal the tip of the root) to achieve adequate healing.
Please do not hesitate to call our office if you are having problems.