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South & East Orlando Dental Offices

What to Expect Afterwards?

Local Anesthesia, “Numbing”

Local Anesthesia was placed where the procedure was done, and will last about 2-4 hours after it was administered.  As a rule of thumb, you should always wait before eating to let the anesthesia wear off. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth.  It is especially important to monitor your child if this is their first time being numb.  Small children are prone to play and bite their lips/cheek/tongue while numb because they do not fully understand the concept.  Watch them closely on the drive home and the hours after the procedure if they have been numbed.

Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.  There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and 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.  When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural teeth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know.  Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.

Tooth-colored fillings

After the anesthesia wears off, the treated teeth can feel sensitive. You should avoid hot and cold food or drink for the next few days.  In some patients, sensitivity can last for months.  But subsequently, the area should start getting better.  Continue your normal oral hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.

Scaling and Root Planing, “Deep Cleaning”

After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days.  Your teeth may feel loose and “black triangle” may appear as your gums heal.  You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8oz water) 2-3 times a day.  This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area.  We will often recommend you get a professional mouth rinse to use at home to maintain your gum health.  Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area.  If any swelling or stiffness in the area is experienced, you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine.  Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days, contact your dentist.

Extractions

After the surgery you will need to rest, no exercising or labor intensive work. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member if you were orally sedated. You can expect the extraction site to bleed for up to 3 hours after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist can prescribe you pain medication as needed, so if it becomes sore, take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain and to abate swelling.  You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery.  Some recommended foods are:  Soup (not too hot), Pudding, Yogurt, Mashed Potatoes, Ice Cream, Smoothies, etc.

DO NOT: Smoke, Drink Alcohol, or Use a Straw!

The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process.  Smoking and drinking alcohol will irritate the site, prolong the clotting process, and introduce harmful bacteria to the socket. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, sharp ridges, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.

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