After Treatment Care

Each patient will leave our office with post operative instructions.  You may also refer to the various treatments below if you have questions.

If any unusual symptoms occur, or if you have any questions, feel free to call our office at (313) 928-2150.  The proper care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications.

Fillings – Silver and Tooth Colored

Eat a softer diet for the rest of today.  DO NOT chew directly on the new restorations.   Hot and cold sensitivity is typical for up to 2-3 weeks.  Call our office if sensitivity persists or if bite is not correct.

Sealants

You may eat and drink right away.  Your bite may seem different at first.  Call our office if your bite does not seem normal within 2-3 days.

Pulp Caps – Direct or Indirect

These are done when a previous filling, or new tooth decay, is close to the nerve.  They are designed to help the tooth repair itself, hopefully avoiding the need for a root canal.  Please call our office if you are unable to chew on the affected tooth, have excessive hot or cold sensitivity, or if you have spontaneous pain.

Root Canal Therapy

This procedure has been done in an attempt to save your tooth despite significant damage to the tooth and nerve.  Expect moderate discomfort for several days after your appointment.  You may be given a prescription for analgesics and /or antibiotics.  Please take these as directed, especially remembering to finish the entire course of antibiotics (if given).  Call our office if you experience significant swelling or are unable to chew on the affected area.

Temporary Crowns

The gingiva/gums will be tender for a couple of days.  Hot and cold sensitivity is typical throughout your time in the temporary crown.  Do not eat anything sticky or hard because you may loosen the temporary crown.  When flossing, do not pull up with the floss, pull floss out along the side of the teeth.  If the temorary crown comes loose, call our office the next business day to have it recemented.

Permanent Crowns

The gingiva/gums may be tender for a couple of days.  Resume daily flossing immediately.  Hot and cold sensitivity is normal, but should decrease steadily over the next 7-10 days.  Brush, floss and eat normally after 1-2 hours.

Numbness

Do NOT eat until the numbness is gone.  You might accidentally bite your lips or tongue.  Do NOT drink any hot liquids. You might burn yourself.  Some numbness may remain for up to 4-5 hours.

Post Treatment Discomfort/Medications

It is important to take medications to control discomfort before the numbness is gone.  If you weren’t given a prescription for pain relief, you can usually get relief from over-the-counter analgesics, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) every 4 hours; Motrin IB/Advil (ibuprofen) every 4 hours, or Aleve (naproxen sodium) every 8-12 hours.

Bleeding

Take gauze squares, fold in quarters, slightly dampen the rounded/flat side (with no folds), and place rounded/flat side over extraction site.  Bite firmly.  Change gauze every 30-45 minutes.  Check your mouth for obvious bleeding before replacing gauze!  IF THERE IS NO OUTRIGHT BLEEDING, STOP USING GAUZE!  It is not unusual for oozing to last for several hours, but this usually does not require using gauze.  If the gauze does not seem to be working, soak a tea bad in cold water, then bite firmly on it for 30-45 minutes.  Tannic acid in the tea aids in clotting.

DO NOT SMOKE OR RINSE YOUR MOUTH TODAY

Don’t spit, drink through a straw, or pick at the area.  Any kind of suction in your mouth for the first 1-2 days may result in the loss of the blood clot.  This is called a DRY SOCKET, and is very painful.  Smoking is the main cause of dry socket.  Starting tomorrow, rinse your mouth gently, every 4-5 hours, generally after meals, with warm salt water (as warm and as salty as is comfortable).  Continue this for several days or until you no longer trap food in the extraction site.

PAIN

It is important to take pain medication before numbness is gone.  For mild to moderate pain, use a non-aspirin pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  For stronger pain, follow your prescription instructions explicitly.  DO NOT increase your dosage of pain relievers unless instructed by the doctor.  Be careful when taking prescription pain relievers.  Many of them cause drowsiness or alter your reflexes.  Avoid driving, operating power tools, climbing, or other dangerous activity while taking prescription pain relievers.

ICE APPLICATION

Chip some ice and put it in a zip-lock plastic bag.  Hold it over the area, 5 minutes on and 5 minutes off, for 30-40 minutes at a time.  Repeat every 3-4 hours for swelling reduction.  This may also be used if you forget to take a pain reliever, or to take th edge off the pain until your pain reliever begins to work.

FOOD

A softer diet is recommended for several days after an extraction.  Stay away from hard, crunchy foods such as pretzels, corn chips, popcorn, etc.  Pieces may lodge in the socket and removing them may remove the blood clot.

BONY EDGES

Small fragments of bone may work their way out of the socket during healing.  They are NOT pieces of tooth, but are pieces of bone which have lost their blood supply and have become devitalized (died).  These usually come out on their own.  If they become annoying, please contact our office for the appropriate treatment.