When you complete any procedure at our office, our dentists and team will provide you with instructions on how to care for the treated area properly and about what you can expect to experience post-treatment. Some of these instructions have been provided below. If you have any questions about our post-op instructions, please contact our office.
Tooth Extractions Post-Op Care
After you have had a tooth extracted, you will have an initial healing period of one to two weeks. You will probably experience some swelling and discomfort for the first 48 hours.
We recommend that you:
- Avoid chewing for at least two hours or until the anesthetic wears off
- Use an ice pack to decrease swelling
- Do not touch the extraction site with your tongue or fingers
- Do not drink through a straw or swish and spit vigorously
- Try to avoid blowing your nose or sneezing violently
- Do not rinse your mouth the day or surgery
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products for several days following the extraction
- Relax as much as possible, avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours after your procedure and keep your head elevated
- Maintain a soft diet for 48 hours
Bone or Soft Tissue Surgery Post-Op Care
Caring for your mouth properly following surgery is critical to the success of your procedure. After your treatment we recommend that you:
- Do not eat for about three hours after your treatment, then maintain a soft diet for two to three days. Avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and hard or brittle foods that could injure the surgical site. Be sure to stay hydrated.
- Take all prescribed antibiotics and medications as directed. You may use a non-aspirin pain reliever as needed. If you have a reaction to a medication (nausea, a skin rash, etc.), stop taking the medication immediately and contact our office.
- Slight bleeding and oozing after gum surgery is normal and may occur for up to 48 hours after your procedure. If bleeding persists, you may apply a moistened gauze pad or tea bag to the site at 20-minute intervals. Keep your head elevated. If bleeding does not stop, please call our office.
- Use an ice pack or cold compress to help reduce swelling.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth very lightly the first night. You may resume flossing gently again the next day. Do not use any irrigation devices (such as a Waterpik®) until you are cleared to do so.
- Do not smoke for at least 48 hours. Smoking can cause significant delays in the healing process.
Dental Implant Post-Op Care
To help you recover quickly and avoid complications in your healing process following implant placement, our dentists and team recommend that you follow your post-op care instructions as closely as possible.
- Do not rinse your mouth for the rest of the day after your procedure.
- On the day following your procedure, begin rinsing with warm saltwater every two to three hours. (Use a half-teaspoon of salt per eight ounces of water). Do this for several days. Then rinse after meals and at bedtime for two weeks.
- Use prescribed medications, antibiotics and mouthrinses as directed.
- Use mild pain relievers, such as Tylenol, Advil or ibuprofen to relieve discomfort.
- You may begin brushing your teeth the day after your procedure, but be sure to avoid the surgical site for several days.
- If a temporary crown was placed, do not bite down until given permission to do so.
- Do not wear your denture, partial denture or other oral appliance until given permission to do so.
- You will likely experience some swelling. Apply ice or cold compresses to the side of your face at 15-minute intervals for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, switch to heat instead, and continue applying heat until the swelling diminishes.
- Keep your lips moist with lip balm or Vaseline to prevent cracking.
- Do not operate machinery for at least 12 hours following your procedure.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products — they can cause your implants to fail.
- If the cover screw or healing abutment of your implant falls out, call our office so that we can replace it. Bring the loosened component with you to this appointment.
- If you use oral contraceptives and have been prescribed an antibiotic, use an alternate method of birth control until you have completed your course of antibiotics.
If you have questions or concerns about your post-operative care, please contact our office to speak with a member of our team or schedule an appointment with our dentists.
Dentures Post-Op Care
Your dentures may feel awkward at first. Your speech may seem altered, and you may feel that your mouth is too full. As you adjust to wearing your appliance, these problems will subside. Most new dentures require a period of “breaking in” while you adjust to them. This adjustment period varies between patients.
Make sure to care for your dentures by cleaning them after each meal with a soft brush and cleaning paste or soapy water. You should also remove your dentures for at least six hours each day to give your gums a rest — for example, remove them when you go to sleep at night. During this time, place your dentures in a small tub of water to prevent them from drying out. At least once a week, use a cleaning solution instead.
Your dentures should be checked at least once annually so that they can be adjusted to any changes in your mouth and receive routine maintenance. If you have problems with your dentures, contact our office immediately to make an appointment.