Patient Care

The world always looks brighter from behind a smile.

Post-Operative Instructions

Composite Restorations

Risk of composite restorations include possible unsuccessful results and/or failure of the filling associated with, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Sensitivity of teeth: Often after preparation of teeth for the placement of any restoration, the prepared teeth may exhibit sensitivity. The sensitivity can be mild or severe. The sensitivity can last only for a short period of time or last for much longer periods of time. If such sensitivity is persistent or lasts for an extended period of time, I will notify the dentist because this can be a sign of more serious problems.
  2. Risk of fracture: Inherent in the placement or replacement of any restoration, is the possibility of the creation of small fracture lines in the tooth structure. Sometimes these fractures are not apparent at the time of removal of the tooth structure and/or the previous fillings and placement or replacement, but they can appear at a later time.
  3. Necessity for root canal therapy: When fillings are placed or replaced, the preparation of the teeth often requires the removal of tooth structures adequate to ensure that the diseased or otherwise compromised tooth structure provides sound tooth structure for placement of the restoration. At times, this may lead to exposure or trauma to underlying pulp tissue. Should the pulp not heal, which often is exhibited by extreme sensitivity or possible abscess, root canal treatment or extraction may be required.
  4. Injury to the nerves: There is a possibility of injury to the nerves of the lips, jaws, teeth, tongue or other oral or facial tissues from any dental treatment, particularly those involving the administration of local anesthetics. The resulting numbness that can occur is usually temporary, but in rare instances it could be permanent.
  5. Aesthetics or appearance: When a composite filling is placed, effort will be made to closely approximate the appearance of natural tooth color. However, because many factors affect the shades of teeth, it may not be possible to exactly match the tooth coloration. Also, the shade of the composite fillings can change over time because of a variety of factors including mouth fluids, foods, smoking, etc. The dentist has no control over these factors.
  6. Breakage, dislodgement or bond failure: Because of extreme masticatory (chewing) pressures or other traumatic forces, it is possible for composite resin fillings or aesthetic restorations bonded with composite resins, to be dislodged or fractured. The resin-enamel bond can fail, resulting in leakage and recurrent decay. The dentist has no control over these factors.
  7. New technology and health issues: Composite resin technology continues to advance, but some materials yield disappointing results over time and some fillings may have to be replaced by better, improved materials. Some patients believe that having metal fillings replaced with composite fillings will improve their general health. This notion has not been proven scientifically and there are no promises or guarantees that the removal of silver fillings and the subsequent replacement with composite fillings will improve, alleviate or prevent any current or future health conditions.

Deep Cleanings

Periodontal scaling and root planing, commonly known as deep cleaning is an extensive procedure. However, most patients experience little or no postoperative discomfort. The most frequent complaints are slight tenderness of the gums and teeth may be sensitive to cold drinks and foods. Here are some helpful reminders.

Be careful eating while you are numb. Hot foods and drinks, such as soup, pizza, coffee, and tea can seriously burn your mouth. It is easy to bite your tongue and lip while numb.

Use warm salt water rinses. Mix one teaspoon of salt in one cup of water several times per day for up to one week. This is soothing and promotes faster healing.

Take Tylenol or ibuprofen as needed for discomfort.

Do not smoke tobacco, marijuana, or any other substances. Do not vape.

Brush and floss gently on the first day. Brushing and flossing daily helps to remove plaque and debris. The success of the procedure depends largely on your ability to keep plaque off your teeth and gums with proper home care.

Dental Extractions

  • Bite on gauze for 60 minutes after your procedure
  • No spitting (passively empty mouth as needed), vigorous rinsing, or sucking/using a straw for 1 week post op
  • No smoking, alcohol, or heavy lifting
  • Follow pain management instructions
  • Warm salt water rinses starting the day after your procedure mix 1 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of water
  • Brush normally except at the site of the extraction, use extra care while brushing in that area
  • For the first 24 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to reduce swelling

Normal things to expect:

  • Bleeding is common in the first 24 hours. Bleeding should be controlled by the time you leave the office, however if bleeding continues apply pressure to the area by biting on a wet gauze.
  • If sutures were placed, you can expect the pieces to fully resorb or fall off in pieces
  • Swelling and bruising is common. Swelling is usually the worst at 48 to 72 hours after surgery and then begins to improve. Bruising may occur over a few days and resolve within one to two weeks
  • Pain is common for the first few days, however if the pain persists please give us a call as a “dry socket” may occur. A “dry socket” is a condition that may develop when the clot in an extraction site breaks down and leaves behind a painful socket that may need to be treated with a medicated pack placed in the socket in the office. A dry socket can be avoided by following post op instructions.

Root Canals

A root canal treatment is the removal of the diseased nerve tissue within a tooth. The procedure is done when a nerve is infected, inflamed, or necrotic.

As the medication used to numb your mouth during the procedure wears off, you may feel some tenderness in the area for a few days as everything heals and some mild soreness in your jaw from keeping your mouth open for an extended period during the procedure. These temporary symptoms usually respond well to Tylenol and ibuprofen. Though you may experience a slightly different sensation from your treated tooth than your other teeth for some time, you should contact us immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain or pressure lasting more than a few days
  • Visible swelling inside or outside your mouth
  • Your bite feels uneven
  • The temporary crown or filling comes out

Once your root canal is completed, you’ll need to return to for a final crown to fully restore the tooth. A properly treated and restored tooth can last as long as your natural teeth.