If we used a local anesthetic, your mouth (including lips and tongue) may be numb for several hours following your appointment.

If you are supervising children who had fillings done, make sure they don’t bite on their numb lips or tongue (it may cause injury to their soft tissue).

Do not bite or chew directly on your newly filled tooth for 24 hours. If possible, try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.

It is normal to experience some sensitivity to hot, cold, air, pressure, or sweet foods for up to 4-6 weeks following your appointment. There should be improvement as time progresses. Sensitivity toothpastes such as Sensodyne or Pronamel can reduce sensitivity significantly. If sensitivity persists or increases, call our office.

Your gums may be sore for several days. This will subside with time. Rinse three times a day with salt water (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) to reduce pain and swelling.

Some patients experience referred pain. With this type of pain, you experience pain or sensitivity in other teeth besides the one that received the filling. There is likely nothing wrong with your teeth and the pain will go away on its own.

Please be aware that if the decay was very deep to the pulp of the tooth, the tissue may no longer be healthy and a root canal may be necessary.

Call our office is you are experiencing continuous aching, throbbing, or if it is keeping you up at night.


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It may have been necessary to use a temporary filling if:

  • Your treatment requires more than one appointment
  • Your tooth needs a short period of time to heal
  • You have a deep cavity in which the pulp of the tooth became exposed
  • You need emergency dental treatment

Please follow all the instructions listed above for fillings.

Most importantly, remember that temporary fillings are exactly that. Temporary. They are not meant to last. They will typically fall out or fracture within a few months or less. If you have a temporary filling, it is critical that you return for a follow up appointment to get permanent treatment. Failure to do so, could result in infection, a broken tooth or other complications


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Following the extraction, some bleeding is normal. Keep a steady, even pressure on the gauze sponge, placed by the doctor, for 1/2 hour. If bleeding continues, place a moist gauze pad (or a moist tea bag) directly over the socket and apply biting pressure for another 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary. Expect blood to weep for the first 4 hours. Keep your head elevated with pillows to help control bleeding. Remember, when blood mixes with saliva, it appears that you are bleeding more than you really are. Bleeding that persists or increases is reason to call our office.

A blood clot will form on the extraction site and this is vital to the healing process. Do not do anything to disturb the first clot. Avoid touching the area with your tongue or fingers. Do not rinse your mouth on the first day or spit vigorously. Do not smoke. Do not drink through a straw or drink carbonated beverages (Coke, Sprite, Club Soda etc). All these things done during the first 24-48 hours after an extraction may dislodge the clot and cause a very painful dry socket.

For the first 48 hours after the extraction, a light diet is advised. Eat soft foods that do not require a lot of chewing (jello, mashed potatoes, ice cream etc). As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet.

Drink plenty of fluids – at least 6 glasses of liquid the first day. Water or diluted fruit juice is recommended. If many teeth have been extracted, the blood lost at this time needs to be replaced.

You may notice some minor swelling. If swelling occurs use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or a frozen bag of peas for the first 6 hours — alternating 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.

Some discomfort is to be expected after the extraction. Usually an over the counter pain reliever (such as Motrin, Tylenol or Aleeve) is sufficient. We can also give you a prescription for a stronger pain medication if needed. To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. If a rash develops, please discontinue use and call our office.

Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours following the procedure. After that, use a warm salt water rinse (1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water) every 4 hours or following meals to rinse out food particles and debris. Gently swish the solution around the affected area and spit carefully. Continue for 3-4 days.

Be sure to brush and floss the other areas of your mouth as you would normally. A clean mouth heals better and faster.

If the extraction required sutures, please be careful not to disturb them. Keep your tongue away from the area. Stretching or pulling on the mouth to look at the extraction site, could result in tearing the sutures. If a suture does become dislodged, this is no cause for alarm, just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures placed are resorbable and an additional appointment is not required to remove them.

Occasionally you may notice or feel a bone fragment working its way up through the extraction site. These fragments are not roots, but tiny fragments of bone. If left alone, they typically migrate out on their own. You may choose to return to the office for a simple removal. In addition, patients may feel hard projections which are actually the bony walls that support the tooth. These also will gradually become smooth over time.

The space left by the tooth will feel a bit strange to you at first. Eventually, new bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap left by the extraction.


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For the first few days after treatment, the treated tooth may feel sensitive – especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Discomfort arising from a root canal can usually be relieved with over the counter medications such as Advil, Tylenol or Aleeve. The healing process may take several days, but the pain and discomfort will gradually subside.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. If a rash develops, please discontinue use and call our office.

Continue regular brushing and flossing.

If we placed a temporary filling in your tooth, please avoid chewing on the area. Chew on the other side of your mouth until the soreness settles down. Often a small portion of the filling wears away or brushes off, but if the entire filling appears to be missing, call our office for a replacement.

If your bite feels high, this can lead to increased discomfort and sensitivity. Please call our office for an adjustment.

Occasionally an infection will persist even after root canal therapy and an additional surgical procedure or extraction may be necessary to remove all infection.


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Tooth sensitivity can follow root planing and scaling when tissue shrinkage and recession expose root surfaces of the teeth. These teeth may be quite sensitive to cold, hot or sweets. The following may help minimize the discomfort.

    1. Avoid extreme temperatures (hot and cold)
    2. Avoid sweet and acidic foods.
    3. Practice thorough plaque control. Bacteria in the plaque forms acid and this acid will promote sensitivity.
    4. Please understand that this is a common and unavoidable side effect of this procedure, but it should diminish quickly. Desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne and Crest Sensitivity, may also be used.
    5. Use a home fluoride rinse like Act or Flourogard.

Most patients experience a minor degree of gingival (gum) soreness after scaling and root planing. In any case, this discomfort should only be temporary. It usually subsides in a matter of a few hours to a couple of days at the most. The following may help minimize this discomfort.

    1. Before the numbing is completely gone, take an anti-inflammatory like Advil or Motrin to help with the discomfort.
    2. Rinse with a warm salt water solution every two hours or as needed. The solution should consist of 1 level teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of warm water.
    3. Avoid strong, spicy or acidic seasonings.
    4. Good oral hygiene is a must! The removal of plaque deposits will promote healing and also reduce the tenderness of your gums.

Effective plaque control is essential for rapid and complete healing. Remember, if bleeding occurs it is a sign of gum inflammation. You are to continue with oral hygiene measures (toothbrushing and flossing) even if you encounter some bleeding. As healing progresses, the bleeding will gradually reduce or disappear altogether.

Root planing and scaling removes calculus (tartar) and toxins from the root, leaving a smooth surface. This enables reattachment of the tissue to the root surface. To get full benefit from this procedure, it is imperative to continue with good oral hygiene at home.


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While the permanent crown is being made, we have protected your tooth with a temporary crown. Please follow these recommendations to ensure the success of your final restoration. AVOID EATING ON THE TEMPORARY. DO NOT FLOSS THE TEMPORARY. You should continue to follow your normal brushing routine. It is important that you keep the temporary in place to avoid shifting of teeth and proper fit of the permanent crown or bridge. If the temporary comes off, save it and call our office to have it recemented.

Crowns and bridges protect teeth that are very broken down, and have had extensive fillings done on them. Often times these teeth have multiple fracture lines present and, if left untreated, can result in the tooth needing to be extracted. Root canals are often needed after temporaries and permanent crowns are placed.

Sensitivity to hot, cold, and pressure is common, and it can be helpful to use a densensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne or Crest Sensitive.

Expect the gum tissues around your crown to be sore.

Upon cementation of your new permanent crown or bridge, please avoid chewing or flossing for 24 hours to allow adequate time for the cement to reach its maximum strength. If you chew or floss too early, the crown or bridge may come off.

Avoid chewing on ice or other hard substances on a porcelain crown or bridge to prevent fracturing of the porcelain.

Please call our office if your bite feels uneven, you have persistent sensitivity, or your discomfort increases.


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After receiving your new dentures, wear them as much as possible.

It is very common to feel some initial discomfort. New dentures typically need several adjustments to feel completely comfortable. Accurate adjustments can only be accomplished if sore spots are visible when you come in for adjustments. It’s very important to call our office for an adjustment time.

Once you are comfortable with your new dentures, it is necessary to take them out at night to rest your gums.

When out of your mouth, keep your dentures in water or a denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent or Polident.

Clean your denture with a brush and water prior to placing in mouth. Also, continue to brush your tongue, gums, and palate which will stimulate circulation in the tissue and remove plaque.

At first, it may be hard to enunciate, but within a few days your muscles will adapt and you will be talking normally.

Denture adhesives are very popular and can be used to give you extra security with your denture. Lower dentures have no retention and often require adhesives.

You must allow a sufficient period of time (often many months) to break in a new denture. Resist the temptation to go back to your old set of dentures.

Dogs love to chew on and eat dentures. Keep you denture in a safe spot.

Please call our office if you experience pain or discomfort or have any questions.


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