Thank you for choosing Starshine Dentistry in Corinth, TX to treat and care for you and your family’s needs. Following any treatment, it is natural for our patients to experience some level of soreness. Below is a generalized list of post-operative information to help answer some of the basic questions you may have about certain procedures.
If you have more specific questions about the treatment you received, or if you’d just like to talk to an actual person, call or stop by anytime. Dr. Leena Alexander is here and willing to help in any way possible.
After Oral Surgery
The following conditions may occur and are considered normal:
- Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using small rolled gauze for 90 minutes. Gauze pads will be given to you. Change these every hour for the next 3-4 hours immediately following your oral surgery. As bleeding lessens, you may go longer intervals between changes. Take two gauze pads double twice and place over extraction site and bite gently.
- Swelling: Some swelling is normal after surgery, and some patients swell more than others. If your doctor expects increased swelling, you will need to place an ice pack adjacent to the surgery site(s) for the next 6-8 hours. Use the ice pack for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off and so on. Bags of frozen peas work well.
- Medications: Take your pills as instructed. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or take other medications without your doctor’s permission. Take medication on a full stomach or with a full glass of water or juice to lower the chance of nausea. If you become sick and it continues, notify your doctor.
- Fluids: Drink plenty of fluids such as water and juice for the next few days. Do not use a straw.
- Diet: Eat whatever feels comfortable. Soups and soft foods will be more comfortable for a few days. Diet may consist of soft foods that can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc. Juice is beneficial to drink before taking medication.
- Activity: Remain quiet for 24-48 hours. Avoid running or strenuous activity as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
- Brushing: A clean mouth heals faster; however, don’t brush the immediate area near the surgery site.
- Mouth Rinse: Gently soak your mouth with warm water after each meal to keep the surgery site(s) clean. You may add salt to the water if desired.
- AVOID: Smoking, alcoholic beverages, peroxide, carbonated beverages, and commercial mouth rinse for at least 24-48 hours following surgery. Avoid using straws. These things can break down the blood clot and result in a “dry socket.”
- Sutures: Some sutures are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. Some sutures are not resorbable and will need to be removed. A post-op appointment will be scheduled for you one week from today.
- Trismus (stiffness) of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days.
- You may have a slight earache.
- A sore throat may develop.
- Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
- If the corners of the mouth are stretched out, they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with cream or ointment.
- There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If you continue to have a temperature, notify us.
- It is not unusual to develop bruising in the area of an extraction.
- The lower lip may have numbness for an extended period of time.
Once we have restored your teeth with tooth-colored materials, these restorations will serve you well for several years. The resin (plastic) material used contains small “filler” particles of glass-like material for strength and wear resistance. They contain the finest and most up-to-date materials available today.
However, you should be aware of the following information about your new restorations:
- As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the filled teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because the resin material can break under extreme forces. Composite fillings set up hard right away. There is no waiting time to eat. Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue which can cause serious damage.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold is not uncommon for a few weeks following a dental restoration. Usually, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be. As discussed before in rare cases of severe, persistent sensitivity a root canal treatment might be needed. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
- Gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.
- The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days. Also, patients who clench or grind their teeth typically have a longer healing period. Properly designed bite guard might be needed to alleviate these problems.
Cleaning Dentures and your Mouth
Your denture can be cleaned easily by using a denture brush and mild toothpaste. Periodic denture soaks are also very useful (ex: Polident). We recommend leaving your denture out of your mouth at night and soaking in water. Brush your gums with a regular toothbrush once per day to toughen and clean them. Use special care to clean parts of the denture that contact any natural 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.
Endodontics treatments can take one or more appointments depending on the case. It is possible to experience any of the following:
- Sensitivity to hot and/or cold, sensitivity to pressure, and possible swelling. If you experience swelling, please call our office immediately, as additional medication may be required.
- One common occurrence is for the tooth to feel high when you bite your teeth together. If this occurs, it will cause your tooth to stay sensitive for a longer period of time. Please call us if your bite feels “high.”
- A temporary filling may be used to temporarily seal the tooth between visits.
- Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.
- The gum tissue could have been irritated during and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.
- Please take Ibuprofen or Advil 600 mg (equal to 3 tabs of over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Advil) every 4-6 hours for the next 3-5 days.
- Please take it as instructed, whether the area hurts or does not hurt!!!
- Do NOT exceed 2400 mg (12 tabs) in a 24-hour period!!!
- Please take Extra Strength Tylenol 1000 mg (equal to 2 tabs of over-the-counter Extra Strength Tylenol) every 4-6 hours for the next 3-5 days.
- Please take it as instructed whether the area hurts or does not hurt!!!
- Do NOT exceed 4000 mg (8 tabs) in a 24-hour period!!!
- If and when you are taking Vicodin / Tylenol #3 / Ultram / Naprosyn, please only take 1 tab of Extra Strength Tylenol.
- You may have been given a prescription for a stronger pain reliever. This may be filled at any pharmacy if the over-the-counter pain medication does not relieve your discomfort. If Vicodin / Tylenol #3 / Ultram / Naprosyn is too strong, you can cut the pill in half. Please do NOT drive or operate heavy machinery while you are taking Vicodin / Tylenol #3 / Ultram / Naprosyn.
Crowns, Onlays, Veneers & Bridges
Temporaries are not strong. They may break or come off occasionally. If so, slip it back on the tooth with some FixodentTM (Denture Adhesive) and call us for an appointment. Please be careful until you come to us so as not to swallow it. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t put the temporary back in with Fixodent, just bring it to us in a ziplock bag. We will re-cement the temporary ASAP. Please do not leave the temporary out of your mouth because the teeth will move, and the final restoration will not fit. Please floss as directed.
- Sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure or sweets is not uncommon. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
- In rare cases of severe or persistent sensitivity, a root canal treatment might be needed. As with the temporary, if the bite doesn’t feel balanced, please call us.
- Do not chew hard or sticky foods on the restoration for 24 hours from the time they were cemented. The cement must set up during this time to have optimum strength.
- Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are required to help you retain your final restoration. The only area that a crowned tooth can decay is at the edge of the crown at the gum line. Small problems that develop around the restorations can be found at an early stage and corrected easily, but waiting for a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration.
The gums may recede from the veneers, displaying discolored tooth structure underneath. This situation usually takes place after many years and requires veneer replacement.
Proper care for your retainer will ensure you get the most of it. Please read our tips about proper retainer care:
- Wear Your Retainer Properly – When you wear your retainer as directed by the dentist, you are sure to have a successful orthodontic outcome. We urge our patients to follow our guidelines on how often and how long they should wear their retainers. The benefits to doing so are to ensure your teeth stay as beautiful as they are now after treatment. Also, the better you care for your teeth, you will make fewer visits to the dentist – which means less time and less expense.
- Do Not Consume Beverages or Food While Wearing – Eating food or drinking beverages while wearing the retainer can either harm the device, your teeth, or cause bad breath. Food and beverages will get caught under the device and can cause rapid tooth decay. Chewing food while wearing the retainers can also put undue stress on the materials and potentially break them.
- Clean Your Retainer Thoroughly – Thoroughly cleaning your retainer, in the proper manner, is important so bacteria and calculus do not accumulate and cause tooth decay and other health issues. Depending on the type of retainer you receive, we will give you instruct you on the best cleaning solution and tools you can use to keep your retainer in good working condition.
- Keep Track of Your Retainer – Do not lose it! Keep your retainer in the case we give to you. When you are out at restaurants or other places and need to take out your retainer, be sure to put it in your case and put the case in your pocket. Cases and retainers tend to get left behind when they are set on a table, chair, napkin, or other places. At home, when you take your retainer out, be sure to put it in the same place every time, so you can easily find it again.
In-Office Whitening or Take-Home Kit Whitening
Sensitivity and soreness following whitening are very common. Your teeth may be especially sensitive to cold air and drinks, and if any of the whitening agent gets on your gums, it may cause them to be tender. Sensitivity and soreness will gradually subside after a couple of days. If you are more prone to sensitivity, you may choose to use anti-sensitivity toothpaste before, during, and after whitening. Try to avoid any darkly or reddish colored foods and beverages (red sauces, coffee, red wine, tea) and smoking for a few hours following whitening. This is when your teeth are most susceptible to absorbing the new stain.
To maintain your shade for as long as possible, avoid colorants (dark food and drinks, tobacco), use a whitening toothpaste, and have regular cleanings. You may need to use home whitening trays a few times a month to maintain your shade.
Tooth-colored fillings will not whiten. If the filling matches your current color, bleaching will result in miss-matched shades with your natural teeth. You may need to have your old fillings replaced to match your newly whitened teeth.
The best way to maintain your white teeth after in-office whitening will be to utilize a take-home teeth whitening kit.