Post Operative Care

After Local anesthesia:

Avoid chewing till the anesthetic has worn off completely. This can prevent severe traumatic injury to the lips and inside of the cheek and is especially important with children. Eat something soft that does not need a lot of chewing. Milkshakes, soups and such.

Your jaw muscles may be sore for a couple of days in the area where the needle was placed. You can apply some warm compresses and take a couple of ibuprofen (200mg) tablets for pain management.

Fillings, crowns and bridges: Teeth that have just had fillings placed in them or have been prepared for crowns maybe have temperature sensitivity for a few days. This should resolve in a few weeks. If you still experience pain and sensitivity after that please call our office. The bite may need adjustment, filling may need to be redone or in occasional cases the tooth may need to be evaluated for a root canal.

Your jaws may experience some soreness for a couple days as well. Applying warm compresses and some ibuprofen (2 tablets of 200mg ibuprofen every 4-6 hours)will help.

Periodontal Scaling and root planing:

Following scaling and root planing you may experience generalized sensitivity to temperature. This is due to the fact that the part of the root that was covered with the plaque and tartar is now exposed to the oral environment and needs time to get acclimated. If sensitivity is mild you can use OTC Sensodyne toothpaste. In cases of moderate to severe sensitivity we can prescribe a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste to be applied to the teeth. Sensitivity usually resolves in 2-3 weeks.


After an extraction, it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding that is why we ask you to bite down on a piece of sterile gauze for 30-45minutes. The next 24 hours are very critical for the healing of the extraction site so please do not:

  1. Smoke
  2. Suck through a straw
  3. Rinse your mouth vigorously
  4. Clean teeth next to the extraction site

These activities will dislodge the clot and slow down the healing process. Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours, this keeps your blood pressure lower, reduces bleeding and helps the healing process.

Following the extraction there will be some pain and swelling. You can use an ice pack to keep this to a minimum. The swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.

Use pain medication only as directed, call our office if it does not seem to be working. If antibiotics are 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 soft foods on the day of the extraction. Do not use alcoholic beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods. You can begin eating normally the next day or as it is comfortable.

After the first 24 hours start rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water) gently, three times a day. It is also important to rinse after eating food to keep food debris at a minimum in the extraction site. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after the first 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing at least once a day. This speeds healing and helps keep your breath fresh.

Call us right away if you have heavy bleeding, sever pain, continued swelling after 2 – 3 days or a reaction to the medication.

Root Canals

You will experience some pain following a root canal especially if the tooth was painful before the procedure. Avoid chewing on that side of the mouth for a couple of weeks. Follow all the instructions for local anesthesia above. Take antibiotics and pain medications as prescribed by the doctor.

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