Post-Operative Care Instructions

Office Hours

Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 7:00am - 3:30pm
Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am - 3:30pm
Friday: 8:00am - 2:00pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

 

Contact Information

3960 El Camino Avenue, Suite 2
Sacramento, CA 95821

Existing Patients: (916) 483-5566
New Patients: (916) 621-2116

 

 

 

Your comfort and health are important to us. Please use these post-operative instructions as a helpful guide on what to expect and measures to take following your dental procedures. You can also call us if you have any questions or concerns following your treatment.

Tooth Colored Fillings

Following your filling appointment if an anesthetic has been used, your lips, tongue and cheek may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb. It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Over the counter Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Tylenol (one tablet every 4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. Once the numbness is completely worn off, if you feel that the filled teeth come in contact prior to the rest of the teeth contact our office for an adjustment. You may chew with your composite (tooth colored) fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office.

Temporary Crowns or Bridges

You have just received a temporary crown. This temporary crown is meant only to serve your needs while a permanent crown is being made for you. Color: The color of the plastic temporary crown does not resemble the final crown in any way. Shape and Size: Temporary crowns are custom-made for each patient, but they will not, in any way, resemble the final crown, which is being made especially for you. Tooth Sensitivity: Your temporary crown will help protect the sensitivity of the prepared tooth. However, it does not fit your mouth like the permanent crown will, so you may notice sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets-sensations you won’t feel when your custom-made crown is in place. Here are some other things you need to know about your temporary crown:

  1. The temporary cement requires about 30 minutes (one half-hour) to set. Please do not chew during that period of time.
  2. Certain foods will stick to the temporary crown. Please refrain from chewing gum, candies, or foods that might stick to the crown or even pull it out.
  3. Temporary crowns are not strong they may occasionally break or come off. If this should happen to you, please contact our office immediately, bring your crown with you and we will replace it. Should you be unable to contact us, simply go to a pharmacy and get some Fixodent. Replace the temporary crown on your tooth using the Fixodent to hold it in place until you can contact us.
  4. Please do not leave the temporary crown out of your mouth. Without the temporary crown, your teeth may move and then the permanent crown may not fit!
  5. Do not brush or floss too vigorously around your temporary crown. Remember that it is important to keep the area clean-but use caution.
  6. It is imperative that you return to our office at the appointed time for your permanent crown. Failure to do so may result in the need to re-prepare the tooth and re-make the crown.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy often takes two or more appointments to complete depending on the severity of infection. At the start of treatment your dentist may isolate the tooth with a rubber dam to prevent salivary contamination of the canal system and protect you from the irrigants used during the procedure. A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments. 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. If the tooth was asymptomatic to start with there are usually no flare –ups between appointments. But if you came in with a severe toothache or a swelling it will take time to heal and expect to have flare-ups between appointments.

Between appointments it is common for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. You may even have a bad taste. If the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call us so that it can be replaced. It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing. To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. To further reduce pain and swelling rinse three times a day with warm salt water.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them as prescribed, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Since the tooth is very fragile following treatment avoid eating sticky and hard foods. Avoid chewing on that side until the permanent crown is placed. The permanent crown will protect the tooth from breaking in future.

Extraction

It is important to take care of your surgery site.
Please follow these instructions:

  1. Bite on gauze for 30 minutes (one half-hour) to stop any bleeding. If bleeding continues, place another gauze and continue to apply pressure.
  2. For at least 24 hours do not: smoke, drink through a straw, drink alcohol, carbonated beverages (“pop”), or hot liquids, blow your nose, spit excessively. Any of these things may cause the blood clot over the surgery site to dislodge from the “socket,” causing a “dry socket” and resulting in unnecessary pain. (Should this happen, call this office to see the doctor as soon as possible).
  3. Do maintain a soft diet for the remainder of the day: things like warm soup, ice cream, milk shakes (remember no straws), etc.
  4. If your pain, discomfort, or bleeding continues or worsens, call the office for a re-examination.
  5. If you were given medications, take them according to the instructions. If you have pain medications at home, you may take them according to the instructions.
  6. Tomorrow morning, start rinsing gently with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water) every four (4) hours for two (2) days.
  7. If any problems or questions do arise, please feel free to call the office.

Bone Grafting

In addition to the Extraction instructions, it is important to remember a few additional points if you have received a graft within the socket site after we removed your tooth. The bone graft is made up of many fine particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. Do not be alarmed by the presence of these small granules. It is completely normal for some granules to become dislodged from the graft site, but there are some things you can do to minimize the amount of granules which become dislodged:

  1. Do not rinse vigorously or spit for the first 3 to 5 days.
  2. Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area. The material is movable during the initial phases of healing and it is best to leave the area undisturbed as much as possible.
  3. Do not lift or pull your lip back to look at the sutures. This pulling or stretching can damage the wound, tear sutures and decrease the success of the graft. These sutures may or may not be resorbable. If you have been told that you have received external silk sutures they have to be removed by us. Sometimes your dentist may even place a barrier for the graft which may or may not be resorbable and may have to be removed. On the first day it is best to let the area settled and allows the blood clot to stabilize the graft material. Therefore, do not even rinse your mouth the first day. After the first day you may begin gentle rinsing with warm salt water, but avoid rinsing vigorously and avoid forced spitting.

Deep Cleaning

If you require more than just a regular cleaning your Dentist /Hygienist may prescribe a deep cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing). It is usually done in sections. One half of the mouth is cleaned in one session and you will have to come back for the other half. First the teeth and the gums are anaesthetized then the teeth are cleaned using a combination of ultrasonic and hand instruments. It is normal to experience cold & hot sensitivity after the appointment. Your teeth may even be sensitive to chewing. Your gums will be sore and may bleed. Sometimes your Dentist /Hygienist may advise the placement of an antibiotic (Arestin) in the pocket if it greater than 4 mm. In that case, patients should postpone brushing for 12 hours and avoid the use of interproximal cleaning devices (flossing) for 10 days. Also patients should avoid eating hard, crunchy or sticky foods for 1 week.

After the completion of treatment it is important to follow good home care which includes regular brushing, flossing, using a mouth rinse (prescription or over the counter). Your Dentist / Hygienist may put you on a 3 -4 month follow up care. Failure to comply with it will return your gum condition back to square one. Regular follow up care will create an environment for the gums and bone to heal and will prevent further destruction. Gum disease is a silent disease and the importance of follow up care cannot be overemphasized.

Immediate Dentures

These dentures are delivered as soon as the remaining non-restorable teeth are removed. They serve as a bandage to the sockets and help in controlling the bleeding. For the next 24 hours do not remove the dentures from your mouth. Apply firm pressure by biting on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes following the appointment. You may have to repeat this several times. You may apply cold pack externally to control bleeding and swelling. Your immediate dentures will contain the swelling. Take the prescribed pain medication and antibiotics. Do not rinse your mouth vigorously. Restrict your diet to soft and cold foods. It is normal to see your pillow stained with blood. Do not panic. The following morning gently rinse your mouth.

As your sockets heal your dentures will get loose and will need to be adjusted several times. Learning to wear your new dentures (particularly full dentures) is much like learning a new sport. It takes practice and patience. Try not to become discouraged at first. Wear your dentures regularly so your dentist can locate the sore spots when you go in for an adjustment.

You may salivate more when you first get your denture. This is normal and usually stops anywhere from within the first few minutes to a few days. It is important that you practice talking. Talk to yourself, read aloud and sing. You should sound normal within a very short time.

You will also need to practice eating. Do not plan to eat your first meal in public. Cut your food into small bites, eat easy to chew foods and chew slowly. Some people feel more comfortable wearing adhesives under their dentures (particularly full dentures). You can experiment with over the counter adhesives. It is important to make sure you remove the entire adhesive each day when you clean your dentures.

At the end of 3 months your Dentist will reline your denture in house to make them fit tighter. Bone usually takes 6-12 months to completely heal. At the end of a year your Dentist will send your dentures for a lab reline. It is usually done within a day so be prepared to take a day off.

Transitional dentures are only for the period of gum and bone healing and your Dentist may recommend permanent dentures and implant treatment. The removable partial or full denture must be removed at least 8 hours each day, preferably at bedtime. Letting the denture stay in the mouth 24 hours a day will cause you to develop sores and fungus under it. It should also be removed and cleaned after meals. When you take it out at bedtime, clean it with a brush and soak it in water, mouthwash or a denture cleaner. Do not let the denture dry out, as this can cause it to warp. When rinsing and brushing your denture over the sink, it is best to place a wash cloth in the basin with some water to cushion the denture should you drop it. The acrylic will break if dropped.

Even if you wear a full denture, it is still important to see your dentist regularly. Your dentures should be checked routinely, along with both the fit and the bite. A poorly fitting denture can cause problems with the underlying tissues and bone loss. You will also be checked for oral cancer and other diseases that can show up in the mouth.