Post-Op Instructions

It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery 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.

Root Canal Therapy

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 antibiotics 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.

Veneers, Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary 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 temporary in.

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary 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 Advil or Tylenol for minor pain.

When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little "different" for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new restoration, and it should feel natural in a week or two. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth.

White or Silver Fillings (Bonding)

After the local anesthesia wears off your tooth may be sensitive. You may need to avoid hot and cold foods for the next few days. Once the tooth feels normal, you may resume your normal diet. Continue with your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.

Scaling and Root Planing

After this procedure your gums will probably feel sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 3-4 times a day. This will cleanse the area and promote faster healing. Brushing and flossing can be resumed right after the procedure, but you should do so gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you want, you may take Advil or Tylenol for 1-2 days post-op. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 3-5 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you have any questions or have lingering pain or discomfort, contact your dentist.


You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you may need to change it. We will provide extra gauze for you to take home. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, and plan to take it easy for the rest of the day. If your dentist prescribed you antibiotics or pain medications, you should take them as directed. If there is a chance of swelling, you will be advised to use an ice pack. If a nylon suture has been placed, you may need to return to get it removed in 5-7 days. If a dissolvable suture has been placed, it will dissolve in 1-2 weeks on its own. You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. For 24 hours after an extraction, do not use a straw as this may disrupt the clotting and healing process. Also, refrain from smoking at least 24 hours. If you have any questions, prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or feel that the extraction site may not be healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.

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