It is important to follow instructions 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.
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 may 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.
Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a provisional 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 provisional in.
There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the provisional or permanent crown 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 over the counter pain relievers as necessary.
When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little different at first. You may need some time to adjust to the new crown or bridge, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in a few short days. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know as soon as possible. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.
After the anesthesia subsides, your teeth will likely be somewhat 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.
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.
Before you receive your permanent veneer you will first receive a provisional 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 provisional in.
There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the provisional 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 over the counter pain meds 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 veneer, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in a few days. 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 surgery you will need to rest. You should consider being be driven home by a friend or family member. You can expect the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be placed at the completion of the surgery, you will not be dismissed until the bleeding has stopped 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. Please use an ice pack for the first 24 hours to alleviate pain and swelling, no more than fifteen minutes at a time and allowing the area to return to normal temperature prior to applying the ice pack again. 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:
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and disrupt the clotting process. The same goes for smoking and vigorous rinsing. Not following these tips could lead to a “dry socket”, an uncomfortable and often painful condition. 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.
Clean the area carefully with a cotton tipped swab dipped in a 50/50 mixture of mouthwash and 3% hydrogen peroxide and expectorate gently.