Post-Operative Care Instructions from Dr. Sahafi

Post Operative Instructions for Crowns and Bridges

Refrain from eating at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.

Temporary

A temporary is a crown or bridge that is placed on the prepared teeth while the final restoration is being made. The temporary serves a very important purpose. It protects the exposed dentin so it is not sensitive, prevents food and bacteria from collecting on the prepared teeth, and prevents the tooth from shifting or moving, which can make seating of the final restoration more difficult. The temporary is placed with lightweight cement that is designed to come off easily so avoid chewing sticky foods such as gum, caramels, etc.

Use your toothbrush to clean the temporary as you normally do your other teeth. However, when flossing, it is best to pull the floss through the contact rather than lift up on the temporary so you don’t accidentally loosen the temporary. If your temporary comes off between appointments, slip it back on and call our office so that we can re-cement it for you. A little denture adhesive placed inside the crown can help to hold it in place in the interim.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment. For the first few days avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off due to the procedure. If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to increase your comfort. Final Crown or Bridge: After the final cementation of your restoration, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge. If your bite feels unbalanced, please be sure to call our office for an appointment for a simple adjustment.

Home Care

Although crowns and bridges are often the most durable of all restorations, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and crown. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restorations.

Post Operative Instructions for Fillings

Refrain from eating at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment. For the first few days avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off due to the procedure. If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to increase your comfort.

The New Filling

After the placement of your new restoration, it may take a few days to get used to it. If your bite feels unbalanced, please be sure to call our office for an appointment for a simple adjustment.

Home Care

Although the treatment that was performed is quite durable, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and filling. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restoration.

Post Operative Instructions for Porcelain Veneers

Refrain from eating at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.

Temporary

A temporary is an acrylic or composite veneer that is placed on the prepared teeth for protection during the time the porcelain veneers are constructed in the lab. The temporary serves several important purposes: it protects the exposed dentin to minimize sensitivity, prevents the tooth from shifting, and last but not least, restores tooth contour and appearance. The temporary is placed with cement that is designed to come off easily so avoid chewing sticky foods such as gum or taffy.

Use your toothbrush to clean the temporary as you normally do your other teeth. You may also floss or, if there is more than one veneer and the temporaries are fused, you may need a floss threader. To avoid possibly loosening the temporary, it is best to pull the floss through the contact rather than pulling it down through the contact.

If your temporary comes off between appointments, slip it back on and call our office so that we can re-cement it for you. A small amount of denture adhesive placed inside the veneer can help to hold it in place in the interim.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment. For the first few days avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. If your gums were recontoured during treatment they may be tender after the anesthesia wears off. Rinsing with warm salt water by dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of warm water will help. An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will also increase your level of comfort.

Your New Smile

After the cementation of your porcelain veneers, it may take a few days to get used to the new veneers. Your bite and the way your teeth come together may feel different especially if we changed the length, shape and/or thickness of your teeth. If your bite feels unbalanced, please be sure to call our office for an appointment to make an adjustment.

Home Care

To maintain the veneers and your new smile, it is important to remember that the underlying teeth are still vulnerable to decay, especially at the gumline where the tooth and veneer meet. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restorations.

Post Operative Instructions for Tooth Extraction

The initial healing period usually takes one to two weeks, and you’ll likely experience some swelling for the first forty-eight hours.

Before the procedure began, you were given an anesthetic to ensure your comfort. This anesthetic typically leaves your lips, teeth, and tongue feeling numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing for two hours following surgery, or until the numbness has completely worn off.

  • Some discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever is usually sufficient. We can also give you a prescription for a stronger pain reliever if needed.
  • To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.
  • You can also decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack — twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off — for the first six hours following the extraction.
  • A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw, and do not spit vigorously.
  • Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing, so if you have an upper respiratory infection or suffer from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus medication on hand.
  • Do not rinse your mouth the day of the surgery. Smoking, or allowing food particles to pack into the tooth’s socket, should be avoided, as both will significantly affect the healing process.
  • Twenty-four hours following the procedure, you can rinse gently with mouthwash or a warm saltwater solution. (Dissolve one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water. Gently swish the solution around the affected area, and spit carefully.) You should do this two to three times each day for the week following the extraction.
  • If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
  • Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first twenty-four hours following surgery.
  • Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat, as nourishment is important to the healing process. Limit your diet to soft foods like yogurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first forty-eight hours, and drink at least eight large glasses of water or fruit juice each day.
  • Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. We will give you a supply of gauze sponges to place over the bleeding area.
  • Change the pad as necessary, and use them until the bleeding stops completely. You can also bite gently but firmly on a moist tea bag for twenty minutes. Be sure to call our office if bleeding persists or increases.
  • The space left by the tooth will feel a bit strange to you at first. Eventually, new bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap left by the extraction.

Post Operative Instructions for Scaling and Root Planing Therapy

Scaling and root planing therapy is a procedure that involves removing bacterial plaque and tartar from the root surface below the gumline with instruments and ultrasonics. It may also require the removal of diseased tissue within the pocket with a laser. The goal of this treatment is to allow reattachment of the gums to the clean root surface and to shrink the periodontal pockets to levels that can be maintained by daily flossing and brushing. The following guidelines have been prepared for you in order to maximize healing and minimize any discomfort.

Refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.

Things to Avoid for the first 24 hours:

  • Vigorous physical exercise, but you may return to work.
  • Drinking through a straw or sucking motions.
  • Do not smoke. It’s better to refrain for 48 hours.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages will retard the healing process.
  • Foods that are extreme in temperature or spicy.
  • Avoid using any strong mouthwashes that contain alcohol.

Things to Do:

  • You may take a non-aspirin analgesic to relieve any tenderness or discomfort, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Eat a well-balanced soft diet for today. You may chew on the opposite side of the treated area until it is comfortable to chew normally.
  • Rinse with a warm salt water rinse, ½ teaspoon in an 8 oz. glass of water, 3 times a day.
  • Brush your teeth very lightly in the treated area the first night. Then begin flossing lightly as well the next day, gradually increasing to normal force by the week’s end.
  • After flossing and brushing, rinse with chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex), if it was prescribed, for at least 60 seconds. Do this at least twice daily. Chloraseptic and Cepastat are recommended mouthwashes.
  • Several days after treatment your gums should begin to appear pinker, less swollen, and will bleed less when you floss. These are signs of healing and improving periodontal health. If you have any questions or problems, please call our office.

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