Post-Op Care & Information
Below you will find resources to assist you with post treatment care:
Temporary (Sedative) Filling Post Op Care
Temporary fillings are different from permanent amalgam or composite fillings because they are "sedative" fillings. This means that they tend to soothe an inflamed nerve in a tooth, and may make the difference between the tooth needing root therapy or simply filling the tooth later on, after the nerve has calmed down. Sometimes a temporary filling is the best course to relieve pain.
Temporary fillings are made of two major components: Oil of clove (eugenol), which has been used for centuries to relieve toothaches, and Zinc Oxide which is the ingredient that makes Desitin diaper rash ointment white. Zinc oxide is an excellent disinfectant. The oil and oxide mix together to make a stiff paste that eventually hardens into a waterproof substance which soothes the nerve of the tooth and kills germs while protecting the cavity like a hard band aid.
Of course, our primary concern is making certain that a final restoration is fabricated. Although IRM is durable and protective, it is by no means a permanent solution. Please call to schedule an appointment to complete your treatment at 919-336-2981.
Crown and Bridge Post Op Care
Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. On the first appointment the teeth are prepared. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
On rare occasions temporary crowns come off. Call us if this happens, and keep the temporary crowns come off. Call us if this happens, and keep the temporary so we can re-cement it. It is very important for proper fit of your final restoration that temporaries stay in place.
It’s normal to experience some hot, cold and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse three times a day with warm salt water to reduce pain and swelling. Use medication only as directed.
To help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (especially gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. It’s important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully and remove the floss from the side to prevent removal of the temporary crown.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 919-336-2981.
Scaling and Deep Cleaning Post Op Care
While most patients experience very little discomfort or symptoms after scaling and root planing, exceptions can occur. If you have moderate discomfort the soreness can increase for two to five days after the scaling and root planing and can linger longer. Most discomfort can be controlled by 600-800 mg (3-4 tablets) of ibuprofen taken every 6 hours as needed. Be sure to take all pain medications on a full stomach or with meals to minimize nausea.
Do not be concerned if traces of blood are noted in the saliva for several hours after the procedure. If heavy bleeding occurs, apply direct pressure to the area using moist gauze or a moistened, standard tea bag for at least 45 minutes. It is critical that you remain seated and inactive while applying pressure to control bleeding. If continuous, excessive bleeding occurs, please contact the office (919-336-2981).
Meticulous oral hygiene should be instituted at least twice a day after the scaling and root planing. Gentle rinsing after meals with a solution of one teaspoon of salt to one 8 oz. glass of warm water will often be soothing to the gums and help with healing. Rinsing helps flush out the debris which collects around the teeth.
Tooth sensitivity following scaling and root planing is very normal. It is usually related to the surgical cleaning, but can also be related to inadequate plaque removal. It is very important to be very meticulous with your plaque control procedures.
Oral Sugery Post Op Care
A certain amount of pain following surgery is to be expected. For persistent pain use the medication prescribed. Always take pain medication with food.
Bleeding and Swelling
Some bleeding is to be expected. Bite into the gauze/apply firm pressure, which was placed over the surgical area, do not open and close your mouth. Leave the gauze in place for 30 minutes.
If slight bleeding continues, it usually can be controlled by simple biting pressure with a gauze for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
If bleeding continues after the above measures, soak a tea bag in cold water then wrap it in a gauze. Place it firmly in the area of bleeding. Lying down with your head elevated can also be a benefit. Apply an ice bag to the cheek for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for today only. If there is swelling tomorrow, do not use ice. Begin applying warm, moist heat to the area. Avoid hot liquids. If you are unable to control bleeding or swelling please call us as soon as possible.
Do not rinse, spit, smoke, or suck through a straw until the next morning. These activities may dislodge the blood clot, cause bleeding, and delay healing. These factors also increase your risk of dry socket.
Starting the day after surgery, gently rinse with salt water after meals to flush out food particles which may lodge in the extraction site. (1 teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water) Continue this for at least three days after the extraction. If you are unable to rinse out of the food particles, stop by the office for a syringe. Do not pick at the extraction site. You may resume brushing as normal on your other teeth, just avoid the extraction site.
Do not chew on solid food while you are still numb. Eat light, soft foods, with as much fluid intake as possible. As soon as possible, change to solid foods, to help you heal faster. When you do eat, try to avoid the extraction site as much as possible.
Dissolvable stitches are used unless otherwise noted, and they normally fall out/dissolve over the next seven days.
Possible Side Effects
Slight Bleedings- control as instructed above
Swelling- may be quite large for 4-5 days; control as instructed above
There may be a slight elevation in your temperature for 24 - 48 hours. If a temperature continues, please call us.
There might be a slight earache or jaw soreness due to having your mouth open for an extended period of time.
If the corners of you mouth are stretched, they may get dry and crack temporarily. Keep you lips moist with chapstick or Vaseline.
Numbness may persist. This is usually a temporary condition and will gradually disappear in a few days to several weeks as the nerve tissue is repaired.
Black and blue bruising may occur on the outside of the face. This is not unusual and make take a week or more to resolve.
Please contact the office if you have any questions or concerns at 919-336-2981.
White (Composite) Filling Post Op Care
We use a local anesthetic to thoroughly numb the are treated. This numbness in your lips, teeth, and tongue might last for several hours after the procedure. To avoid injury to your tongue and lips, you should avoid chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
What if my fillings hurt?
It is normal to experience some sensitivity to heat, cold, and pressure after your appointment. Sensitivity to cold may last a couple weeks depending on the depth and location of the filling. It is also normal to be sore around the tooth if a band was placed or around the injection site. This soreness can last several days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help to alleviate discomfort and swelling. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, then gently swish the water around the tooth and spit.
If your bite feels uneven please contact our office as soon as possible as this can cause prolonged sensitivity and soreness of the tooth.
Do I have to be careful with my fillings?
White fillings are completely set immediately after they are placed, so once the numbness subdues you can return to eating as normal. Good oral hygiene is vital to maintaining the life of the filling. Flossing, brushing, and using mouth rinse are all aids in good oral hygiene.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns at 919-336-2981.
Root Canal Post Op Care - Endodontic/Root Canal Therapy
Endodontics/Root Canal therapy involves the removal of dead or dying nerve from each canal or root of the tooth being treated. This is usually done by:
Place a rubber dam over the tooth to be treated to protect the patient from instruments and solutions used in therapy.
Filing each canal with hand files.
Removing dead or dying nerve.
Enlarging and sterilizing the canals.
Finally, filling the canals with a rubbery substance called gutta percha.
Some x-rays are needed during this process to ensure the best possible chance of success.
For your information:
Endodontic therapy may require multiple appointments.
Please inform the doctor if you have a latex allergy.
It is not uncommon to have some discomfort following each visit, which is usually controlled by over-the-counter pain medications (Ibuprofen or Tylenol)
If you experience severe pain, swelling or have any questions please do not hesitate to call the office.
Upon completion of treatment of the root canal, you may have a temporary filling placed. You need to have the permanent restoration placed as soon as possible to protect the root canal. Depending on the amount of tooth structure removed, you may need a filling, crown, or post and core.
It is very important that you have the root canal restored as soon as possible, as there is always a risk that the unrestored tooth could fracture compromising the completed root canal therapy.
Post-operative Instructions Following Root Canal Therapy
This is sheet will go over some information about what to expect for the next few weeks now that the root canal is completed. Please follow the instructions outlined below and contact us should any questions or problems arise.
While you are still numb, be careful not to bite your cheek, teeth, lip, or tongue. The numbness will wear off in a few hours after the procedure.
If you have a temporary filling, do not eat anything hard, crunchy or sticky on that tooth because it could cause the filling to come out. If your temporary does fall out, please let us know as soon as possible, as we don’t want the root canal to be compromised.
It is normal for the temporary filling to feel different, this is not your permanent restoration.
If your bite feels uneven please let us know as soon as possible.
Some minor discomfort in the are is normal following a root canal. It is normal for the tooth to be uncomfortable for 2-3 days after today’s treatment. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the tooth and surrounding tissues may remain sore for a few weeks post treatment.
The three most common reasons for the pain are: 1) Sore jaw from having your mouth open for a prolonged time, 2) Sore muscle from the injection site and 3) Sore gum from the rubber dam placement.
What do I do about the pain? We recommend you take: 600 mg Ibuprofen (3 over the counter pills of Advil or Motrin or generic equivalent) every 6 hours for the next days. OR if you are unable to take Ibuprofen 1000mg Acetaminophen (2 extra strength Tylenol or generic equivalent) every 6-8 hours for the next 2 days. 90% of the time this is enough to handle the discomfort. If it is not, please contact our office and we will work with you to get comfortable.
If you are given any prescription medications related to this treatment please take them as instructed by your doctor.
You may floss and brush as normal unless otherwise told by the doctor.
Rinsing with salt water ( teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day to reduce pain and swelling.
Although 95% of root canals cause very little to no discomfort after the treatment is completed, there is a small percentage that can experience significant pain. These are referred to as “flare ups”. They mostly occur on badly infected teeth that are extremely irritated or teeth that have a history of prior root canal treatment. Sometimes, however, they occur randomly even on patients that have had several root canals previously without any problems.
If you have flare-ups you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling (can get as large as a golf ball), bruising, throbbing and general discomfort. These symptoms usually begin a few hours after treatment and may last 2 to 3 days.
Please contact our office if you experience any of these symptoms and we will do everything we possibly can to get you some relief. You may be prescribed antibiotics, stronger pain medications, a steroid, and/or you may be asked to come to the office to receive further treatment.
Please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have any concerns or questions, 919-336-2981.
ZOOM! Post Op Care
Congratulations! You’ve just experienced a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure with us. The next 24 hours are vital for whitening results to be long-lasting, bright and healthy smile.
What to expect after your ZOOM! Whitening:
Everyone’s teeth have a protective layer called the acquired pellicle. It takes up to twenty-four hours for the barrier to fully develop again after whitening. You may also experience some tooth sensitivity during this period. If you do have any sensitivity symptoms, you may take over the counter Advil. Sensitivity toothpaste such as Sensodyne may also help eliminate some of the sensitivity sensations. Should you experience discomfort not alleviated by Advil, please contact us.
For the next 24 hours, dark staining substances should be avoided, such as:
Coffee and tea
Tobacco products including smoking
Toothpaste with color
Mustard or ketchup
Berries including pie
Red sauces such as A1
For the next 24 hours, substances that may be consumed are:
Milk, water, clear soda
Bananas, apples (no peel)
White bread, flour tortillas
Oatmeal, cream of wheat
White rice, baked potatoes
Plain pasta and white sauce
Turkey, chicken (no skin), white fish
Plain yogurt, white cheeses, sour cream, cottage cheese
Additional ways to maintain your sparkling ZOOM! Smile:
Avoid staining-related habits
Use an automated toothbrush
Seek regular professional hygiene care to maintain oral health
Practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing