Directions For Patients
It is easy to forget the instructions your dentist tells you right after a procedure. Here are the recommendations that we usually make to our patients after they have received treatment. If you are recovering from surgery, we hope that these instructions will make you feel more comfortable.
After Surgery Without IV Sedation
Follow these instructions for an optimal recovery:
- Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for the 48 hours after your appointment. This is important for quick healing.
- After surgery, please do not rinse or spit for 24 hours, as the blood clot necessary for healing may dislodge. After 24 hours have passed, you should gently rinse 3-4 times daily with warm salt water.
- Tooth extraction may cause numbness of the facial nerves. Please let us know if this happens.
- If bleeding persists, fold the provided gauze in half, and then in half again. Place the gauze over the site of bleeding and bite firmly (a wet tea bag will also work).
- When sleeping, you may wish to place a towel over your pillow, in case of bleeding.
- If swelling occurs, gently place an icepack onto the face 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. Swelling is a natural body response to any surgery 24-48 hours after treatment. If swelling persists after this time, please give our office a call.
- Eat a soft and nutritious diet for a few days and avoid drinking ice cold or hot liquids. Do NOT drink with a straw.
- Follow any additional instructions that were given personally and be sure to take any prescribed medications until completed.
- If applicable, our office will call to book an appointment for suture removal, or to check on the site to ensure proper healing.
Surgery With IV Sedation
By following these instructions, you will continue to have an optimal recovery.
- Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for 48 hours following your appointment, this is important for quick healing.
- Do not operate a vehicle or other machinery requiring hand eye coordination for the 24 hours following your appointment. You will be in a legally impaired state.
- Do not take on any major responsibilities or make any major decisions for 24 hours following your appointment, as you are legally impaired
- Sleepiness may persist for several hours. We recommend a nice nap. Be sure to place a towel over your pillow, as slight bleeding may occur.
- After surgery please do not rinse or spit for 24 hours. The blood clot necessary for healing may dislodge. After 24 hours rinse 3-4 times daily with warm, salt water.
- Tooth extraction may cause numbness of the facial nerves. Please let us know if this happens.
- If bleeding persists, fold the provided gauze in half, and then half again. Place the gauze over the site of bleeding and bite firmly. A wet tea bag can also work.
- If swelling occurs, place an ice pack on the face – 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off. Swelling is a natural body response to any dental surgery within the 24-48 hours after treatment. If swelling persists after this time please give office a call.
- Eat a soft, and nutritious diet for a few days (try pasta, soups, omelettes, or Ensure as a meal supplement,) and avoid drinking ice cold or hot liquids. Do NOT drink with a straw.
- Follow any additional personal instructions and be sure to take prescribed medications until they have been completed.
- Our office will call to book an appointment for suture removal, or to check on the site to ensure proper healing.
Post-Op Tissue Graft Instructions
- After your surgery, you will find that a hard pink protective material has been placed over the graft site. This material should stay in place until we remove it at your post-operative appointment approximately seven days later. If it comes off prior to your post-op appointment, please phone us immediately and let us know.
- A clear surgical stint that fits over your upper teeth and the roof of your mouth has been put into place to protect the palate and provide comfort (specifically to the area from which the donor grafting tissue has been taken). Usually we place some of the pink material in this stint as well. At times, the pink material may come loose from the stint. This is okay, and may be discarded should this ever occur.
- You may wear the stint for as long as you require, including while eating, in order to provide comfort, but it MUST be cleaned frequently in order to help avoid infection. Clean your stint by brushing it with a toothbrush under cold running water.
- The areas involved will be quite sore throughout the healing process. This is normal.
- If you are able (i.e. not allergic and do not experience stomach upset), you may take three 200-milligram ibuprofen tablets every four hours (or less as needed—but no more than every four hours) for pain relief. Ibuprofen is recommended because of its pain-relieving as well as its anti-inflammatory effects
Instructions For Crown/Bridge Temporaries
- Do not eat anything sticky or chewy. For example, toffee or chewing gum is a very bad idea.
- You may be a little sore along the gum line, so when brushing your teeth, use an extra soft toothbrush, using warm water to make the bristles of your brush softer. Brush gently in that area.
- Rinse two to three times daily with Rx Peridex , Sterisol, or a solution of salt water (one teaspoon in an 8-ounce glass of warm water).
- You should floss, but it is important that you do so in this manner: insert the floss between the teeth, as normal, but do NOT “pop” the floss back out, or you will risk removal of your temporary. Instead, pull the length of the floss slowly out the side of the tooth.
If your temporary crown or bridge comes off, call the office immediately to arrange an appointment to have the unit cemented back into place. In the meantime, place the temporary back into position on the tooth (it will only fit on one way).
If your temporary crown or bridge comes off outside of our office hours, call and leave a message on our answering machine with your name and telephone number. Make sure to mention in the message that your temporary has become dislodged. In the meantime, place the temporary back into position. It should feel snug, and you may sleep with the unit in place, unless it feels loose. If the unit feels loose, or if you are worried about sleeping with the unit in place, place the unit into a bag, but make sure you put it back into place upon awakening.
If your temporary veneer or CMBR (onlay) comes off, place the temporary into a bag and call the office immediately to arrange an appointment to have the unit cemented back into place. This type of unit will not stay in place if you attempt to put it back yourself.
Immediate Dentures After Tooth Removal
- Your denture will usually feel “big” at first. This is normal and you will feel accustomed to them as quickly as a few days to a few weeks.
- Do not take your denture out for 24 hours. This aids in controlling any residual bleeding.
- After 24 hours you may remove the denture for a few short minutes at a time. Do not leave them out any longer than this, as the tissue may swell, making it hard and painful to reseat.
- Within 48 hours we will see you again to relieve the “sore spots” that naturally occur with a new denture. Future appointments will be made in 7 days and then as needed to ensure your comfort.
- As the tissue and bone heals, the gums will change shape – causing the denture to loosen. We will accommodate for this by placing a “soft reline” material in the denture. This may last anywhere from 1 to 3 months and is done at no cost to you for a minimum of two relines.
- After 9 to 12 months and the bone and tissue will stabilize and your denture will be evaluated for esthetics, function and retention. A permanent reline may be required at this point, or in some instances a new denture is required to satisfy your needs. These procedures are separate and are not included in the fee for the immediate denture.
Post Operative Instructions For Sinus Graft
- Do not blow your nose.
- Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
- Do not take liquids through a straw.
- Do not lift or pull on your lip to look at sutures.
- If you must sneeze, keep the mouth open to avoid any unnecessary pressure in the sinus area.
- Use decongestants for 14 days following your dental visit, or take a prescribed medication as directed.
- You may be aware of small granules in your mouth for the next few days. This is not unusual.
Notify the office if:
- You feel granules in your nose.
- Your medications do not relieve your discomfort.
Bleaching And Whitening
The following instructions are for patients who are undergoing bleaching sessions
- Brush and floss teeth thoroughly.
- Place a small “pearl” size amount of bleaching gel into front facing side of the bleaching tray.
- Place the tray into your mouth, gently press into place, and wipe with a tissue to remove any excess gel.
- Don’t have anything to eat or drink while the tray is in place.
- Wear the tray for two hours. After two hours remove the tray (unless otherwise directed,) and rinse and brush your teeth using cold water. You may bleach again the same day providing there is a 2-3 hour break in between sessions.
- Avoid consuming foods that stain such as coffee, tea, or red wine. You should not smoke cigarettes or pipes while bleaching and for at least two weeks following completion of bleaching. You should also avoid citrus beverages and foods during the bleaching process.
- Store the bleaching gel in a refrigerator.
- Store the trays in a cool dry place, out of the sun.
Please note: Color changes will appear quite white and/or chalky in some spots. Allow 24 hours for the color to stabilize to true results.