Following your treatment, our dentists and team will provide you with additional instructions so that you can properly care for yourself and your restoration at home. If you have questions about any of our post-operative care instructions, please call Dental Corner at 316-681-2425. We will be happy to assist you and help you schedule a follow-up appointment with Drs. Jay Hildreth, Tommy Rose, or Steve Huskey in Wichita, Kansas.
Post-Op Instructions for Tooth Extractions
You can expect the period of initial healing following a tooth extraction to last 1-2 weeks. You will probably experience some swelling for the first 48 hours, and you may feel some discomfort. We recommend that you:
- Avoid chewing for 2 hours following your extraction, or until you are no longer numb from the anesthetic used during your procedure.
- Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding.
- Change the gauze pad as necessary until the bleeding completely stops.
- Take any antibiotic medications prescribed as directed.
- Apply an ice pack at 20 minute intervals for up to 6 hours to help reduce swelling and manage pain.
- Avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers.
- Do not drink through a straw.
- Do not swish and/or spit vigorously.
- Try to avoid blowing your nose or sneezing violently, as this may dislodge the blood clot at the extraction site and impair the healing process.
- Do not rinse your mouth the day of the surgery.
- Avoid smoking and other tobacco use.
- Avoid allowing food particles to pack the socket of the extracted tooth.
- Relax as much as possible and avoid strenuous activities for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
- After you are no longer numb, begin eating again. Eat soft foods such as yogurt, soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first 48 hours. Stay well-hydrated by drinking water or fruit juice.
Post-Op Instructions for Root Canals
Following your procedure, you should:
- Avoid eating for at least 2 hours, or until the anesthesia from your procedure has worn off.
- Take any prescribed medication as directed.
You can expect your tooth to be sore for several days, and we recommend that you avoid eating hard or chewy foods. This soreness will gradually decrease over a period of 7-10 days.
If you have any of the following signs, please contact our office immediately:
- A reaction to your prescribed medication
- Increased tenderness or swelling in the area surrounding the treated tooth
- Your temporary crown or filling dislodges
- Your tooth fractures
Post-Op Instructions for Crowns
There are usually two steps involved in placing a dental crown – the placement of a temporary crown, and the placement of your permanent crown.
Temporary crowns are placed on your teeth while your final restoration is being made. Temporaries protect the exposed tooth, prevent food and bacteria from collecting on the tooth, and prevent the tooth from shifting in place while you are waiting for your final crown.
While wearing the temporary:
- Brush the temporary as you would your natural teeth
- When flossing, pull the floss through the contact rather than lifting it up; this prevents the temporary crown from accidentally become loose or dislodged.
If your temporary crown comes loose, call our office so we can re-cement it for you.
After receiving your final crown, it may take you a day or so to get used to the new restoration. If your bite feels unbalanced, please call our office to schedule an appointment so that we can adjust the crown.
You should also:
- Resume regular brushing and flossing immediately
- Regulate your intake of sugar-containing foods
You will likely feel sensitivity after the placement of both the temporary and final crown. Avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages for the first few days after your treatment. You will also likely feel some discomfort in your gums after the anesthetic wears off. You may use a mild pain reliever or a warm salt water rinse to minimize this discomfort.
Post-Op Instructions for Teeth Bleaching
The first 48 hours after your professional whitening treatment are critical in maximizing the effect of the treatment on your smile.
We recommend that you avoid consuming dark, staining substances, such as:
- Red wine, cola or other sodas, coffee, and tea
- Berries, such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.
- Tobacco products
- Red sauces, including mustard, ketchup, and soy sauce
We also advise that you:
- Avoid staining habits
- Use an electric toothbrush
- Keep all your regular dental appointments to ensure your teeth stay clean
- Practice good oral hygiene at home
- Use whitening trays for touch-ups as recommended
You may also experience some sensitivity for the first 24 hours after your bleaching treatment. This is normal, and is usually mild. Tooth sensitivity or pain should subside within 24 hours, but it can last longer for individuals who are more sensitive or have recessions, exposed dentin, exposed root surfaces, recently cracked teeth, micro-cracks, open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions. You can use a mild pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil to help manage your discomfort until your sensitivity levels return to normal.
Post-Op Instructions for Cleanings
Sometimes you may experience general soreness or sensitivity following a dental cleaning, particularly if you received a deep dental cleaning. Following your treatment, you should take good care of your gums and teeth to help them heal.
We recommend that you:
- Wait a day before flossing
- Brush your teeth carefully, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste for sensitive teeth
- Avoid eating foods or drinking liquids that set off your sensitivity (this is typically any extremely hot or cold food or beverage)
- Follow all instructions we provide in our office following your treatment as closely as possible
If your teeth continue to remain sensitive for 3-4 weeks following treatment or you have other concerns, we recommend that you contact our dentists for a follow-up appointment.