Your Post-Op Recovery Guide
Patients should always do their best to closely follow the post-op guidelines provided by Dr. Poupore and his team. Post-op patients should generally wait 2 hours minimum before they try to eat. This allows the anesthesia to wear off so the patient can regain sensation in their mouth. Eating while the mouth is still numb can result in damage to the soft tissue that will cause a lot of pain later. Below are the guidelines for some common dental surgeries.
After root canal therapy, patients should expect to be sore for a few days. It's important that patients avoid any chewing in the root canal area so that the temporary restorative materials can set correctly and without irritation. Patients may need to take antibiotics to resolve any remaining infection. Antibiotics should always be completely finished and must be taken exactly as directed. If there is an increase in pain, an increase in irritation, a reaction to medication, or dislodging of the temporary restoration, call Dr. Poupore's office right away.
Crowns and Bridges
Prior to receiving a permanent crown or bridge, patients will have a temporary restoration. The temporary restorations are more delicate than the permanent ones, and patients will need to take care when eating. Very hard or sticky foods should be avoided. Patients should brush the temporary restoration with only light pressure and should avoid pulling upwards during flossing. It can be common to experience minor sensitivity or irritation with both the temporary and permanent restorations. This abates quickly as the gums heal. Regular rinsing with lukewarm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) can help, and over the counter pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol can be used together to manage pain if needed. The permanent crown or bridge may initially feel strange in the mouth, but in under a week it will feel natural. Bridges and crowns need the same type of care as natural teeth, including regular brushing and flossing.
White Fillings (Bonding)
Once the anesthesia wears off, most people experience some sensitivity in the area with the new fillings. Patients should avoid extreme temperature foods for a few days during this adjustment period. After that, the teeth can be treated just like the natural teeth. Good oral hygiene is key to maximizing the life of the fillings.
Scaling and Root Planing
Gums are typically sore and slightly irritated for a few days after scaling and root planing. Patients can rinse with warm salt water rinse (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) a couple of times a day. Brushing and flossing can be done as normal, but patients should use only light pressure. Cold compresses and mild pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil can alleviate swelling and discomfort. Patients should avoid hard or sticky foods for 2 to 3 days, but can then resume eating as normal. Pain and swelling after 3 days is unusual, so contact the dentist if this occurs.
Before the permanent veneer is placed, a temporary veneer will be used. The temporary version is more fragile, which means that patients should be cautious when eating and brushing. Only gentle pressure should be used while brushing and patients should not pull upwards while flossing. It's best to avoid any hard or sticky food until the permanent veneer has been placed. The temporary and permanent veneers can both cause some initial irritation, but this resolves quickly as the gums heal. Patients can rinse with warm salt water rinse (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) a couple of times a day, and Advil or Tylenol can be used for pain relief if needed. Veneers can feel strange for the first few days, but the mouth will rapidly adjust and it will soon feel completely normal. While brushing and flossing, patients should make sure that they thoroughly clean between the veneer and the tooth, leaving the gumline clean.
Following tooth extraction, patients will need to take some time to rest. If patients are under anesthesia for extractions, they must have a friend or family member drive them home after the appointment. It's normal for the extraction site to continue bleeding for as much as 24 hours. Gauze should be changed when it becomes soaked with blood. It's best to sit up or lay in a partially reclined position. Patients should not lie flat as this can make the bleeding last longer. Patients will have prescription pain medicine, and it should be used if needed for soreness and pain. Ice compresses can also help alleviate pain. Patients will need to follow a soft diet for at least a few days after their tooth extraction. Recommended foods include: Gelatin, pudding, yogurt, mashed potatoes, ice cream, non-chunky soups, and other foods that don't require chewing. Patients should not use a straw to drink after a tooth extraction. The sucking motion required to drink from a straw can cause loosening of the sutures and may interfere with blood clotting. Patients should avoid smoking for the same reasons. If patients experience serious pain, bleeding, or healing problems they should contact Dr. Poupore for help.