[su_accordion]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op Instructions | Bruxism Appliance”]

Night Guards

The purpose of splint therapy is to help your lower jaw function more properly. Since the treatment you are to receive is mainly orthopedic in nature, we have fabricated an orthopedic appliance to help reposition your lower jaw. This appliance will help to relax any of your jaw muscles which are in spasm and to reduce any muscle pain. There are many situations that may cause your lower jaw to malfunction including accidental trauma, developmental defects, peculiar oral habits, naturally occurring malocclusion (poor bite), psychological stress, clenching or bruxing of teeth, and other problems.

You have received an acrylic bite splint (occlusal splint). This treatment has been used for many years to keep the teeth from contacting while you sleep and to allow the lower jaw to return to a comfortable hinge position without interference and guidance from the teeth. It is essential that you wear your night guard every night and you may also wear it during the day if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth.

Cleaning the Splint | Food will accumulate under the splint. After brushing and flossing your teeth very thoroughly, brush and rinse the inside and outside of the splint and return it to your mouth. Dental decay can be stimulated if you are not careful about the cleanliness of your mouth and splint. Fluoride containing rinses or gels are useful when placed in your splint once per day if you have a high dental decay rate. Using a dental soak cleanser (ex: Polident) on a monthly basis will help keep the splint fresh.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op Instructions | Composite Filling (White Filling)”]

When an anesthetic has been used, your gums, lips and tongue may be numb for several hours, after the appointment. If possible, avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. When you are numb, it can be very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip. If you must eat before the numbness has worn off, be careful, chew on the opposite side of your mouth, and eat only soft foods. After your numbness has completely worn off, you may chew on these teeth like normal. If you experience sensitivity to chewing, you should avoid the area until the sensitivity subsides.

It can be normal to experience slight discomfort and soreness after fillings have been done, especially around the gum tissue and injections sites. Advil, Aleve or Tylenol work well to alleviate the tenderness. Take this medication as directed.

Anytime a tooth has to be drilled on, it is very irritating to the nerve of the tooth. The nerve responds by becoming inflamed. The most common post-operative symptoms of an inflamed nerve are sensitivity to cold and chewing. While the tooth heals, you should notice the sensitivity getting less frequent and less severe. Usually, after a few weeks, most patients will feel back to normal.

However, occasionally, it can be normal for sensitivity to linger for an extended period of time, after a filling has been completed. Every patient and every tooth is different. If the tooth had extensive decay, or trauma, such as a fracture (crack), increased sensitivity would definitely be expected. Also, if a patient clenches or grinds their teeth, healing can be delayed.

As long as the sensitivity is getting less frequent and less severe, then the tooth is healing. If the sensitivity increases in frequency, duration, or intensity, sometimes further treatment may be needed. Symptoms to watch for are sensitivity to hot, swelling of the gums or cheek, a “bubble” to appear on the gums near the tooth, intense pain that wakes you up in the night, or a constant, intolerable ache. If you have any of these symptoms, please call our office.

We recommend that you avoid chewing in that area of the mouth, and/or maintain a soft diet while healing. Make sure to have excellent home care, especially around the area worked on, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. If you gums are very sore, rinse with diluted salt water or diluted anti-bacterial mouthwash. Take anti-inflammatory medication as directed, if needed, for pain. And wear a nightguard, if you normally wear one.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 706-216-7777.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op Instructions | Cosmetic Dentistry”]

After a cosmetic procedure has been performed, it is normal for your teeth to be sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. Some sensitivity will most likely last until you get your permanent restorations. However, it should decrease over the few weeks while you wait for the permanent restorations to be made. Please, don’t be alarmed about sensitivity to cold and pressure unless it gets more frequent or more severe. If this is the case, please call our office immediately. The amount of discomfort you have is directly related to the extent of your dental work.

In general, the greater the number of teeth worked on, the greater the potential discomfort. If possible, avoid chewing in the area that was worked on and maintain a soft, nutritious diet. If it is not possible for you to chew in a different area, then make sure that you do not try to eat foods that are too hard. Try to stick to very soft foods. Examples: yogurt, bananas, pasta, milkshake, smoothie, soft bread, cheese, cold soup.

If you were prescribed a medication for pain, make sure to take it as directed. If you were given a prescription for medication containing Ibuprofen (ex. Vicoprofen), do not consume any additional anti-inflammatory medication.

However, if the medication that was prescribed, does not contain Ibuprofen, then it can help to take your prescription, alternating every 3 hours with anti-inflammatory medication (600 – 800 mg of Ibuprofen). Do not take anti-inflammatory medication if you are allergic to it.

For example | Take anti-inflammatory medication at 6 am. Then take your prescription at 9 am, then take your anti-inflammatory at 12 pm, then take the prescription at 3 pm, and so on. The important thing to remember is that you must let 6 hours pass between doses of anti-inflammatory medication. And you must not take your prescription doses any sooner than as directed on the label.

As you begin to feel better, you can stretch the times out, eventually discontinuing all medication. If you have any questions about this, please call our office.

If you were not prescribed pain medication by our office, then you can take Advil (Ibuprofen), Tylenol (Acetaminophen), or Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) for pain. If your discomfort is not relieved with over the counter medication, please call our office. We want you to be comfortable, and will prescribe something for you, if needed. It can be normal to need to take pain medications anywhere from days to weeks when having multiple restorations or cosmetic procedures done. If the discomfort continues to get worse, please call our office immediately. The discomfort should decrease as each day passes.

It is possible that your bite may feel off for the first few days. This feeling is normal. It takes a little time for our mouths to learn the new bite that has been created.

There is a possibility that your gums may be swollen, bleeding and irritated for several days to several weeks. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water. Rinse with this solution three times a day, swishing it all over the mouth and spitting it out.

Temporaries are not as insulating as your permanent crowns will be, causing increased temperature sensitivity and they can be very irritating to the gums. It is imperative that you brush and floss daily, even if it is uncomfortable to do so. For the first few days, it will be painful to clean around the temporary restorations, so be gentle. If it is very painful to use a toothbrush, you may use a Q-tip to clean the painful areas. It is especially important to keep the gums clean around the temporaries. Some temporaries are connected to each other. Proper cleaning will require using a floss threader to go in-between the teeth. We will give you a floss threader, and instruct you on how to use it. You may also like using an interproximal brush. If you need extra floss threaders or interproximal brushes, please ask someone at our office. They are also available at most drugstores. Your gums may bleed when flossing, for the first week or two after treatment. This is normal and should decrease as you heal. Just remember, the better your home care is, the faster your gums will heal, resulting in decreased discomfort and better esthetics. It is especially important, at the final appointment where we cement the permanent restorations. If your gums are healthy, your appointment will take less time, your discomfort will be less and the final esthetic result will be much better.

You should try to cut back or completely cut out your consumption of coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, cola, and berries. These stain the teeth and cosmetic restorations. If you are unable to do this, try to brush more often, especially right after eating or drinking something very staining Also, to avoid fracturing or breaking a cosmetic restoration, you should refrain from chewing on ice, fingernails, pens, and any other objects that can damage teeth. Stay away from eating hard candy, popcorn hulls, or any other unusually hard foods. If you are a clencher or a grinder, you may need to have an occlusal guard made, to protect the restorations from breaking prematurely. Failure to wear a nightguard, if one is needed, can lead to fractured restorations.

It is extremely important for you to have excellent daily oral hygiene, for many reasons. Healthy gums play a big role in esthetics. The daily mechanical removal of plaque helps the gums and bone to stay healthy, the esthetics to be optimal, the restorations to have longevity, and decreases the chance for cavity development. If the gums are red and swollen around restorations, the esthetics are not nearly as good as they are if the gums are healthy, tight, and light pink in appearance. Good oral home care includes brushing and flossing daily and having your teeth professionally cleaned by the dental hygienist every 6 months. Practicing good oral hygiene will help to ensure the long-term success of your cosmetic restorations.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op Instructions | Crown & Bridge”]

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and impressions of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the permanent custom restoration is being made. At the second appointment, the permanent restorations are cemented. Occasionally, a try in appointment, adjustments, or laboratory modifications are necessary, and may result in the need for a third appointment.

If anesthesia was used, the tongue, cheek, lips, and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. If you need to eat before the numbness has worn off, use common sense. Eat on the side that is not numb, and only eat soft foods. Examples: yogurt, bananas, pasta, milkshake, smoothie, soft bread, cheese, cold soup. It is very easy to bite your tongue or cheek while you are numb, so make sure to be careful.

To keep your temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods, chewing gum, eating hard foods, and if possible, avoid chewing in the area where the work was done. It is important to brush and floss daily, but make sure to floss carefully. Don’t pull the floss towards the occlusal (chewing) surface of the tooth which may dislodge the temporary. Instead, pull the floss out from the cheek side of the temporary crown or bridge.

Occasionally a temporary crown or bridge may come off. If this happens, call our office right away. Make sure to bring the temporary crown or bridge with you to the office, so that we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it protects the tooth, and helps prevent tooth from moving. If the temporary was swallowed or destroyed, we can make a new one for you.

Normally, we do not give pain medication for crown and bridge procedures. If you are experiencing discomfort, anti-inflammatory medications like Advil and Aleve are best for you to take. If you are unable to take anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Aleve, you may take Tylenol. If your discomfort can not be relieved by an over the counter medication, please call our office. Sometimes, patients require a prescription strength pain reliever. It can be normal to experience some sensitivity to temperature and chewing. As long as the sensitivity is getting less frequent and less severe, the tooth is healing. If the sensitivity is getting worse, however, you should call our office immediately.

Temporaries are made of acrylic and composite resin and are not very thermally insulating, causing temperature sensitivity to be increased. The gum tissue is often aggravated by temporaries, staying red and inflamed. Even though it may be uncomfortable, brushing and flossing the area is very important. This will help the gums to heal, and your discomfort will decrease. If a toothbrush hurts too much to use around the area that was worked on, you can use a Q-tip to clean the teeth directly around the area, for a few days. When you come in the office to have your permanent restoration cemented, the healthier your gums are around the tooth, the easier the appointment will be for you (less time and less discomfort). Once you receive the permanent restoration, the sensitivity usually decreases tremendously and the gums heal quickly. Usually, within a few days to a few weeks, your tooth and gums will start to feel normal again.

If your temporary comes off, and you are not coming in to the office for your permanent crown that day, you should call our office. We will make an appointment for you to get it re-cemented. If you are out of town, or if you are not able to come in to the office, you can place the temporary crown or bridge back on with an over the counter temporary cement or temporary filling material found in the dental section of most drug stores. You may also use toothpaste, Vaseline, or Fixodent. However, these typically don’t hold the temporary as well as the drugstore cement. Even if you are able to get the temporary re-cemented yourself, you should see a dentist, as soon as possible. The proper placement of the temporary by a dental professional is extremely important.

If you must re-cement the temporary yourself, follow the directions as closely as possible. Please read all of the following directions for re-cementing a temporary before you begin the process:

Clean the cement out of the temporary, using a small object such as toothpick or a bobby pin. Place the temporary on your tooth, so that you can see how it fits correctly. This is a custom restoration and should fit precisely on your tooth. If it has been placed incorrectly, it will not seat fully on the tooth and may feel high in your bite. Make note of which side faces the tongue and which side faces the cheek. There is only one way that it fits correctly. Once you have mixed the dental cement together, you may only have about a minute to get the temporary placed correctly on your tooth, before the cement begins to set up. So, make sure that you know how the temporary goes on before you place the new cement in the temporary.

Dry your tooth as well as you can with gauze or a wash cloth. Then, place the cement in the temporary. Next, place the temporary on the tooth and bite down gently. Tap your teeth together and make sure that your bite feels normal. If you are able to bite all of your teeth together and you don’t feel extra pressure on the temporary tooth, place a gauze or washcloth over the temporary tooth and bite down firmly for about 5 minutes. If the temporary does not feel secure after this, DO NOT leave it in. It is possible that you could aspirate (go into the lungs), or swallow the temporary, especially while sleeping. If you cannot get it securely fitted on your own, please leave it out until you can come into our office, or see another dentist, to have it re-cemented.

It is important to make sure your temporary stays on for several reasons. If the tooth has not had a root canal treatment, it can be irritating to the tooth to be exposed to the texture and temperature of foods and liquids, and air. Also, the temporary not being in place can cause movement of the tooth and can increase the amount of adjustments needed to your permanent crown or bridge for proper placement.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office. We are happy to see you, or advise you, post operatively, for any reason.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op Instructions | Crown Cementation”]

If anesthetic has been used, your gums, lips and tongue may be numb for several hours, after the appointment. If possible, avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. When you are numb, it can be very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip. If you must eat before the numbness has worn off, be careful, chew on the opposite side of your mouth, and eat only soft foods.
After your numbness has completely worn off, you may chew on these teeth like normal. If you experience sensitivity to chewing, you should avoid the area until the sensitivity subsides.

It can be normal to experience slight discomfort and soreness after having a crown(s) cemented, especially around the gum tissue and injections sites. Advil, Aleve or Tylenol work well to alleviate the tenderness. Take this medication as directed.

Anytime a tooth has to be worked on, it is very irritating to the nerve of the tooth. The nerve responds by becoming inflamed. The most common post-operative symptoms of an inflamed nerve are sensitivity to cold and chewing. While the tooth heals you should notice the sensitivity getting less frequent and less severe. Usually, after a few weeks, most patients will feel back to normal.

However, occasionally, it can be normal for sensitivity to linger for an extended period of time, after a crown has been completed. Every patient and every tooth is different. If the tooth had extensive decay, or trauma, such as a fracture (crack), increased sensitivity would definitely be expected. Also, if a patient clenches or grinds their teeth, healing can be delayed.

As long as the sensitivity is getting less frequent and less severe, then the tooth is healing. If the sensitivity increases in frequency, duration, or intensity, sometimes further treatment may be needed. Symptoms to watch for are sensitivity to hot, swelling of the gums or cheek, a “bubble” to appear on the gums near the tooth, intense pain that wakes you up in the night, or a constant, intolerable ache. If you have any of these symptoms, please call our office.

We recommend that you avoid chewing in that area of the mouth, and/or maintain a soft diet while healing. Make sure to have excellent home care, especially around the area worked on, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. If your gums are very sore, rinse with diluted salt water or diluted anti-bacterial mouthwash. Take anti-inflammatory medication as directed, if needed, for pain. And wear a nightguard, if you normally wear one.

If you bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 706-216-7777.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op Instructions | Dentures & Partials”]

If this is your first denture or partial, the first thing you should know is that the transition of going from natural teeth to a denture or partial can be very difficult. Removable prosthodontics replace the missing teeth, but will never function or feel like natural teeth. A good comparison would be a removable prosthesis for a leg or arm. A successful transition into wearing removable prosthodontics requires time, practice and a lot of patience.

If this is not your first removable prosthesis, then your transition will be less difficult. However, there is still quite an adjustment period for you, too. All removable prostheses are different. Even if we have tried to replicate an old denture or partial for you, it will not be identical. Over time, many things change… your gum tissue and bone shrinks, teeth wear down, natural teeth drift, and your bite changes. All of these things will affect how a prosthesis is made. The adjustment of wearing a new prosthesis can be as difficult as the first time you received one. You just have a better idea about what to expect.

When we deliver a new prosthesis to you, we make adjustments to custom fit the prosthesis to your mouth, while you are in the chair. As you wear the prosthesis, your gum tissue will adapt accordingly, often causing sore spots. Normally, we will need to see you 24 -48 hours after we deliver the prosthesis to you, for an adjustment. It is normal for your entire mouth to feel sore and for your bite to not feel completely comfortable for several weeks. As your gum tissue adjusts to the new prosthesis, we may need to see you for adjustments around “sore spots”, and to fine tune your bite. It can be very normal for you to need 3 or 4 adjustments during the first few months of wearing the new prosthesis. It is highly unlikely that you would not need any adjustments.

Over time, your gum and bone will shrink where there are teeth missing. As this occurs, your prosthesis will feel loose and may require relining. Every patient will have this shrinkage occur at different rates. Some patients can go 20 + years without needing a reline, whereas others may need a reline once a year. Most patients require a reline just about every 5 years. Wearing ill-fitting prostheses for too long without relining can contribute to bone loss and oral disease.

If you had an “immediate denture or partial” placed, then you will need a reline approximately 6 months to 1 year after the initial placement of the prosthesis. Generally, the cost of this reline is included in the initial cost of the immediate prosthesis. We encourage you to wait as long as you can (no longer than 1 year) before you have this first hard reline, because often your gums and bone continue to shrink over the course of the first year. We can place a “softline” in your prosthesis, during this time. The softline is a liner that is semi-permanent, and is used only until you can have the permanent hard reline done. The softline has a rubbery texture. It provides increased retention and a cushion while your gums and bone are changing during the first year of healing. It can be difficult to clean, it tears easily, and will deteriorate over time. It is not durable enough to be used long term. Sometimes, it must be done several times, during this transition time.

Please take great care to continue a good daily hygiene regimen. Clean your denture daily with a mild toothpaste and a denture brush and periodically with an over the counter denture soak (Polident or Efferdent). We recommend that you take your prosthesis out while sleeping, and place it in a cup of water. Make sure to brush any remaining teeth in your mouth at least two times a day, and floss at least once a day. Pay special attention to any teeth that are used to hold the partial in, as they tend to collect more plaque and calculus build up than other teeth. Both the partial and the natural teeth must be kept very clean on a daily basis to reduce the chance of new dental decay starting. Dentures are made of acrylic and they are fragile so you need to be especially careful when handling them. They can break, if they are dropped on a hard surface. Also, household cleaners (especially bleach) and brushes that are not specific for using on prostheses can be far too abrasive. So, please, don’t use any products on the denture unless they are specifically made for cleaning prostheses.

We have done our best to provide you with a well-fitted, functional, and esthetic prosthesis. We feel confident that once you have adjusted to the new prosthesis, you will have years of satisfaction from them. While you are getting adjusted to the prosthesis, have realistic expectations. Don’t try to eat corn on the cob, or ribs in the beginning. Take baby steps with your new teeth. Start off with a soft diet, and as you get used to the way they move and feel in your mouth, gradually try chewing things that are more difficult. And remember, have patience and know that this transition can take a long time. Our office is here to help you, so please call us if you have any questions or need to come in for an adjustment.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Instructions for At Home Whitening”]

After you have been given your whitening trays and your Opalescence whitening gel, you will be ready to start working towards a brighter smile! You should use your trays with the gel at least 4-8 hours every day for the first 2-6 weeks. We recommend for you to wear your trays with the gel while sleeping at night. Different percentages of whitening gels, and patient’s teeth differing, can make a difference on how long you will need to wear your trays with the gel. You should continue to wear them until you have reached the shade you desire.

Sensitivity can occur with whitening, and if the sensitivity is severe, you should take a break from whitening for one to three days. If it becomes sensitive again, then you may need some Ultradent gel for sensitivity, or you might want to try a lower percentage whitening gel. If this is the case, please call our office so that we may assist you in getting one of these products. Also, it is important to be aware of the type of toothpaste you are using. Toothpastes that say “Whitening”, “Tartar Control”, “Baking Soda”, or “Hydrogen Peroxide” are much more abrasive than regular tooth pastes and can also cause sensitivity. We recommend that you use regular toothpaste or toothpaste for “Sensitivity”.

Unless you have severely stained teeth (ex. Tetracycline stained teeth), you should reach a very desirable shade after bleaching for 4 – 6 weeks. We recommend that you use your trays for 1-3 days in a row, once every 6 months, to maintain your new bright smile. Try not to consume food and drinks that stain your teeth, such as berries, cola, tea, coffee, etc. And if you do consume staining food and drink, make sure to brush well, afterwards.

Please follow these instructions on how to use your whitening trays and your gel:

  1. Make sure trays are clean.
  2. Take the syringe of gel out of the refrigerator and take off cap.
  3. Load the gel in the tray by placing a little beaded line of gel across the front of the teeth inside the deepest part of the tray.
  4. Place the tray in the mouth and wipe off any excess gel that squeezes out and try not to swallow any gel.
  5. When you are done whitening take the tray out, brush your teeth, and clean out your tray.

If you find that a lot of extra gel is coming out of your tray, it is possible that you are using too much gel. Try to use less next time. It only takes a small amount of the gel to get the results you desire because the gel is powerful. When you put your trays in your mouth, the gel should cover the front of your teeth without an abundance of excess gel coming out of the tray. It is ok if there is a little excess, just make sure to wipe it off of your gums. When this is achieved, you will know that you are using the correct amount. Do not eat, drink, or smoke with your trays in. It is recommended to store the bulk of your whitening gel in the refrigerator. However, it is ok to leave one or two syringes unrefrigerated while you are in the initial process of whitening.

These are some frequently asked questions about the Opalescence whitening system:

  1. Is it safe?
    Yes. Whitening your teeth, under the supervision of your dentist, has been proven safe in clinical studies over a period of many years. The primary ingredient in Opalescence is carbamide peroxide, which has been safely used to brighten the smiles of millions of people worldwide.
  2. How does it work?
    Impressions of your teeth will be made and custom trays will be constructed for your bleaching procedure. You will place the Opalescence gel in your custom trays and fit them over your teeth. As you whiten your teeth, carbamide peroxide is broken down and oxygen enters the enamel and dentin. This bleaches out the discolored areas without changing the structure of your teeth. The color of your teeth becomes lighter.
  3. Are there any side effects?
    There are a small number of people that could experience increased sensitivity to hot or cold during the whitening process. This is temporary and can be treated with a lower percentage gel or Ultradent sensitivity gel. The sensitivity will usually go away within 48 hours after whitening.
  4. How long will it last?
    The duration of your results depends largely upon you. The results can be permanent if you practice good oral hygiene and brush regularly, especially after eating foods and drinking beverages that can stain the teeth.

Opalescence asks that you please remember:

  1. Teeth are naturally darker along the gum line. These areas may require more time to lighten than the rest of the tooth surface and usually remain slightly darker.
  2. A small percentage of patients experience sensitivity with bleaching. Should this occur (and you have already waited 3 days before bleaching again), call our office for a lower percentage of Opalescence or for Ultradent sensitivity gel.
  3. Foods and Juices high in citrus acid can cause sensitivity to the teeth.
  4. Some patients have noticed temporary discomfort of the gums, lips, throat, or tongue. Should any of these symptoms persist more than two days or progressively worsen, call our office. These side effects will usually subside within 1-3 days after treatment is discontinued.
  5. Coffee, tobacco, and other products can cause your teeth to stain again over time. Should this occur, just use your opalescence for three nights in a row and it should take care of any discolorations.
  6. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important before and after bleaching to maintain a healthy smile.
  7. If you have any questions, please call our office.
  8. Old silver fillings can leave a purple color in your tray. This is nothing to be alarmed about.
  9. Discard any unusual looking bleach gel after whitening treatment is complete.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op | Oral Surgery / Tooth Extraction”]

After an extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form, to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That is why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 or 45 minutes after the extraction. If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another thirty minutes. You may have to do this several times. It is extremely important that you make sure that you are placing the gauze DIRECTLY over the extraction site, and that you bite as TIGHTLY as possible, for adequate pressure to stop the bleeding. If you continue to bleed, wet a tea bag and follow the same instructions above, making sure to place the tea bag directly over the extraction site. After the blood clot forms it is important to protect it, especially for the next 48 hours.

DO NOT
Smoke
Spit
Suck through a straw
Rinse your mouth vigorously
Drink hot beverages or soup

These activities can dislodge the clot and slow down healing. Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and have some swelling. You can use an ice pack to keep this to a minimum. You should place an ice pack or a frozen bag of peas or corn on your face in the area where the surgery was performed for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. The swelling should start to go down within 48 hours.

Use pain medication only as directed. It can help to take your prescription, alternating every 3 hours with anti-inflammatory medication (600 – 800 mg of Ibuprofen). Do not take anti-inflammatory medication if you are allergic to it.

For example | Take anti-inflammatory medication at 6 am. Then take your prescription at 9 am, then take your anti-inflammatory at 12 pm, then take the prescription at 3 pm, and so on. The important thing to remember is that you must let 6 hours pass between doses of anti-inflammatory medication. And you must not take your prescription doses any sooner than directed on the label. If you were prescribed a medication containing Ibuprofen (ex. Vicoprofen) do not consume any additional anti-inflammatory medication. As you begin to feel better, you can stretch the times out, eventually discontinuing all medication. If you have any questions about this, please call our office.

If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.

Drink lots of fluid and eat only soft nutritious foods on the day of the extraction. Do not consume alcoholic beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods. You can begin eating normally the next day or as soon as it is comfortable for you.

Gently rinse your mouth with saltwater three times a day beginning the day after the extraction. You can continue to do saltwater rinses as often as needed.

Dissolve one teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gently rinse, swish, and then open your mouth over the sink to let the salt water fall out of your mouth- DO NOT SPIT.

Also, rinse gently after meals. This helps keep food out of the extraction site. It is very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing at least once a day. This speeds up the healing process. If it is painful to brush teeth near the extraction site, you can use a Q-tip to clean those teeth, for a few days. It is very important to keep your mouth clean while healing from an extraction.

Call our office right away if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or a reaction to the medication. After a few days to a week you should be able to resume your normal activities. After hours, if you have an emergency, you may page the doctors. You will need to call the office to get the current paging number off of the answering machine. If for some reason you cannot reach us and you have an emergency, please call 911, or go to the emergency room.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post—Op Sensitivity”]

It can be normal to experience slight discomfort and soreness after dental work has been done, especially around the gum tissue and injections sites. Advil, Aleve or Tylenol work well to alleviate the tenderness. Take this medication as directed.

Anytime a tooth has to be drilled on, it is very irritating to the nerve of the tooth. The nerve responds by becoming inflamed. The most common post-operative symptoms of an inflamed nerve are sensitivity to cold and chewing. While the tooth heals, you should notice the sensitivity getting less frequent and less severe. Generally, with most dental work, after a few weeks, most patients will feel back to normal.

However, occasionally, it can be normal for sensitivity to linger for an extended period of time, after dental work has been completed. Every patient and every tooth is different. If the tooth had extensive decay, or trauma, such as a fracture (crack), increased sensitivity would definitely be expected. Also, if a patient clenches or grinds their teeth, healing can be delayed.

As long as the sensitivity is getting less frequent and less severe, then usually, the tooth or area is healing. If the sensitivity increases in frequency, duration, or intensity, sometimes further treatment may be needed. Symptoms to watch for are sensitivity to hot, swelling of the gums or cheek, a “bubble” to appear on the gums near the tooth, intense pain that wakes you up in the night, or a constant, intolerable ache. If you have any of these symptoms, please call our office, immediately.

We recommend that you avoid chewing in that area of the mouth, and/or maintain a soft diet while healing. Make sure to have excellent home care, especially around the area worked on, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. If you gums are very sore, rinse with diluted salt water or diluted anti-bacterial mouthwash. Take anti-inflammatory medication as directed, if needed, for pain. Unless otherwise instructed, wear a nightguard, if you normally wear one.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at 706-216-7777. We are happy to advise you or see you in the office, post operatively, for any reason.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post–Op Instructions | After Composite Fillings (White Fillings)”]

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any 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. Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 4-6 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. You may experience some sensitivity to chewing, pressure, and cold and this can last for days and even in some cases a year or two. As long as the sensitivity is getting less frequent and less severe, the tooth is healing. If the sensitivity is getting worse, however, you should call our office immediately. If pressure sensitivity or sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office. If you are having tenderness from your fillings, try chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. If you had a filling placed that was really deep, you may have more sensitivity than usual. This is because when we drill on a tooth, heat and vibration are created causing the nerve of the tooth to become aggravated and it responds by getting inflamed and sensitive. Anti-inflammatories are great for relieving many of these symptoms if you can take them.

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully cured when you leave the office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 706-216-7777.

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Post–Op Instructions | Root Canal Therapy”]

It is normal for you to have some tenderness, pain or swelling with a tooth after root canal treatment, for several days, even up to a few weeks. You should take an anti-inflammatory (Advil or Aleve) medication before your local anesthetic wears off. Try to avoid chewing in the area that was worked on, until all tenderness is gone and until your permanent restoration has been placed.

If you were not prescribed pain medication by our office, then you can take Advil (Ibuprofen), Tylenol (Acetaminophen), or Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) for pain.

If you were prescribed a medication for pain, make sure to take it as directed.

If you were given a prescription for medication containing Ibuprofen (ex. Vicoprofen), do not consume any additional anti-inflammatory medication.

However, if the medication that was prescribed, does not contain Ibuprofen, then it can help to take your prescription, alternating every 3 hours with anti-inflammatory medication (600 – 800 mg of Ibuprofen). Do not take anti-inflammatory medication if you are allergic to it.

For example | Take anti-inflammatory medication at 6 am. Then take your prescription at 9 am, then take your anti-inflammatory at 12 pm, then take the prescription at 3 pm, and so on. The important thing to remember is that you must let 6 hours pass between doses of anti-inflammatory medication. And you must not take your prescription doses any sooner than directed on the label.

As you begin to feel better, you can stretch the times out, eventually discontinuing all medication. If you have any questions about this, please call our office.

You will have a temporary filling or temporary crown on the tooth, after a root canal therapy has been done. If you had a root canal done by an endodontist, you will have a temporary filling placed in the tooth.

You should call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for a permanent restoration and make sure to maintain good daily oral hygiene. When a root canal is done on a tooth, the nutrient, blood and nerve supply to the tooth has been removed causing the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracture. Delay in getting a permanent restoration for your treated tooth can result in the tooth cracking or breaking, and possibly becoming non-restorable.

If for some reason your pain should become severe, or if swelling develops, please call our office as soon as possible. After hours, if you have an emergency, you may page the doctors. You will need to call the office to get the current paging number off of the answering machine. If you have any questions about your medicine or the procedure that was performed, please call our office.

If you have extreme pain or swelling, and you are unable to reach us, dial 911 or go to an emergency room.

[/su_spoiler]

[/su_accordion]