It is important to follow the instructions given to you by your dental professional following any dental procedure. Listed below are some general guidelines to promote optimal and timely recovery from a dental procedure.

Oral Surgery / Extractions

Following an oral surgery procedure, you need to follow instructions given to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications.

If you have had sedative medication for the procedure, you need to be driven home by a friend or family member.

Plan your schedule to allow for a recovery period. After the surgery you will need to rest when you return home. Do not lie flat as this could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down.

You can expect an extraction site to bleed for a short time after the surgery. Gauze will be applied to the site at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes saturated. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist.

Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, which should be taken as directed. You may also use an ice pack, held to the outside of your face at the surgery site in twenty minute intervals.  As a rule you should always wait until anesthesia has worn off before eating. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are: 

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Thin Soups
  • other food you can eat without chewing.
  • Avoid smoking as well as drinking from a straw. The sucking motion disrupt both healing and the clotting process. If pain, bleeding, irritation persists, or you feel that the extraction site is not healing properly, you will need to call your dentist so the site may be examined.

Root Canal Therapy  

You may experience some discomfort after a root canal procedure. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed so you do not irritate the area and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. It is common to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If pain or tenderness increases, if you experience a reaction to the medication, or if loss of the temporary restoration (filling) occurs, you should call your dentist immediately.  

Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary restoration. A temporary crown is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so care should be taken when cleaning and eating. The area can be cleaned gently and flossing at the site avoided. Sticky or chewy foods should be avoided while you have the temporary.  

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent crown is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help. If necessary, you may take Advil or Tylenol.  

When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Remember, it is an object foreign to your mouth and your mouth will need to adjust to it. in some instances, minor adjustment to your bite may be required, but generally, in a very short time it will feel like one of your natural teeth. Your bridge or crown is cared for in the same way you care for your natural teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.  

White Fillings (Bonding)  

After having a white filling (composite) placed and the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some sensitivity. Avoid hot and cold food or drink for a few days. Your treated teeth will soon feel normal again. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time. 

Scaling and Root Planing  

Scaling and Root Planing may cause your gums to feel uncomfortable for a few days. You may rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will ease discomfort and cleanse the site. Your regular brushing and flossing routine should be continued immediately after the procedure. Pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol may be taken to ease discomfort. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days contact your dentist.  


The process of having a veneer involves use of a temporary veneer while your permanent veneer is being fabricated at a lab. The temporary is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so care should be taken when cleaning and eating. Brush the area gently and do not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. Avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary veneer.  

It is normal to experience some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent veneer is placed, this will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.

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