What Do I Do after Dental Treatment?
After a Filling
After a silver filling is placed, avoid eating for the rest of the day on the side of the mouth where the filling is. With all fillings, silver and tooth-colored, take care to not inadvertently bite your cheek, lip, or tongue while numb. If you have the taste of iron suddenly, you’ve bitten yourself and your mouth will complain once it wakes up. Be cautious with hot foods while numb so as not to burn your numb mouth. Watch your kids after their treatment that they follow these rules.
After a Crown or Bridge
While you have a temporary crown or bridge in place, avoid hard or sticky food that could break or dislodge the temporary. If the temporary does come out, call us and in the meantime replace it gently using toothpaste as type of temporary cement – kind of a temporary temporary cement, if that makes sense. It is normal for gums to be slightly sore after the impression for a crown or bridge. For this, keep the area clean and rinse with Peroxyl or salt water. Ibuprofen helps greatly with this type of soreness.
After an Extraction
Keep pressure on the extraction site for one hour by biting on the gauze we will supply you. Take any pain medicine while you’re still numb, making sure to follow Dr. Ellenwood’s instructions for that particular prescription. If you continue to have bleeding after an hour, bite on a tea bag for another hour, and this should take care of it. The socket will normally seep a scant amount of blood for the rest of the day. If you have copious bleeding even after the tea bag, don’t hesitate to call us. Sometimes pain may return in 3-4 days; this is mostly a dry socket. If this happens, call us and we’ll have you come in to pack the dry socket which gives relief as the socket is healing. Dry sockets take 10 days to heal with or without treatment, but proper treatment will bring comfort back. To prevent a dry socket, avoid smoking, drinking straws, and heavy rinsing and/or spitting for 2-3 days after the extraction. If you must smoke (and this would be an excellent time to quit), place a gauze over the extraction site and use only short, shallow puffs.
After Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
The main thing to do after scaling and root planing is to keep your gums clean. Plaque forms every 24 hours on teeth no matter who you are. Taking this plaque off by toothbrush, floss, and your prescribed rinse will keep the plaque from doing further damage and allow your gums time to heal and become less inflamed.
After a Root Canal
After a root canal, avoid eating on the affected tooth for about a week and even then, stay away from hard or sticky foods while the tooth is either temporized or waiting for a crown. For posterior teeth and some anterior teeth, a crown needs to be placed within three months to prevent tooth fracture. After the work of a root canal, we certainly don’t want to lose the tooth. What a waste!