If you’ve visited Vanguard Dental Group and have questions regarding the care of your recent treatment, this section is for you. If you’d like more information than is covered here, please contact us and we’ll help.
After a Tooth Extraction
Bleeding: After an extraction, bite firmly on the gauze we provide you with. The pressure will help ensure the formation of a blood clot in the socket. Change the gauze every 30–45 minutes after the procedure until the bleeding has stopped.
Swelling: To reduce swelling place an ice pack to the affected side of your face. We recommend holding the ice against your cheek for ten minutes, then removing it for 5–10 minutes, and then repeat as necessary.
Pain Control: To lessen pain, take prescribed or over the counter medication as directed. If any medication we prescribed makes you drowsy, do not drive.
- Do not smoke cigarettes for at least 48 hours after an extraction or you could get a dry socket, which is a very painful post operative complication.
- Do not drink through a straw, spit, or rinse for 24 hours after an extraction or you may dislodge the blood clot you just formed and cause a dry socket.
- Do not consume alcohol or hot beverages after your extraction.
- After your extraction, eat soft food and brush and floss very gently in the area of the socket.
- After 24 hours, rinse at least three times a day with salt water (or as directed by your dentist) for 3–5 days.
After Having a Crown Placed
After a crown has been placed, it is normal to have thermal sensitivity for several days.
Gingival tissue surrounding the new crown can also be irritated for several days after the procedure.
These sensitivities can be treated with over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and sensitivity formula toothpaste (such as Sensodyne toothpaste).
Should these symptoms not resolve after a week or so, we advise you to call our office for an evaluation. It may be necessary to do a simple adjustment to the restoration or something more serious such as evaluation for a root canal.
After Root Canal Therapy
It is normal to have some moderate discomfort after a root canal for a few days or up to a week. This discomfort is usually isolated to the area above the root of the tooth, and can be exacerbated by pressure or chewing.
Usually this discomfort is a result of inflammation of the tissue around the root. This is best treated by taking an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, as needed for 3–5 days after the procedure.
After a Filling Is Placed
It is normal to have some thermal sensitivity, especially to cold, after a new filling has been placed. The deeper the decay was, the more likely the tooth will be sensitive after the filling has been placed. Most sensitivity will resolve in a few days or weeks. If the discomfort persists, please call our office for an evaluation.
Most of the time, the sensitivity can be dealt with in a very simple manner with the use of a sensitivity formula toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, or by adjusting the contour of the filling. However on occasions, the pain can only be resolved by performing a root canal or by placing a crown (or both).
Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthetic
After you have had local anesthetic for your dental procedure:
- If the procedure was in the lower jaw, the tongue, teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
- If the procedure was in the upper jaw, the teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
Often, patients do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue. It is often wise to keep yourself on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off. Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.
Care of the Mouth After Trauma
- Please keep the traumatized area as clean as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well during healing to aid the process.
- Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp).
- If the swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see the patient as-soon-as possible. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.
- Watch for infection in the area of trauma. Signs of infection can be redness, swelling, or a bump (gum boil) that may resemble a canker sore. If you suspect infection, please call our office immediately so that you may be seen as soon as possible.
- Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until you feel comfortable eating normally again.
- Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold.
- If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.
- Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.
Oral Discomfort After a Cleaning
A thorough cleaning unavoidably produces some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a “rough cleaning”, but to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene.
We recommend the following for 2–3 days after cleaning was performed:
- A warm salt water rinse 2–3 times per day (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)
- For discomfort, use Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed on the bottle.
Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.
Laughing gas is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the your nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating patient’s dental needs. The gas is mild and easily taken; then, with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling laughing gas/oxygen, you will remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.
Prior to the appointment:
- Nothing to eat 2–3 hours before the appointment.
- Please inform us of any change to your health and/or medical condition.
- Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for you. It may limit the effectiveness of the laughing gas/oxygen.
- Let us know if you are taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
Conscious sedation is recommended for patients with moderate anxiety or fear of the dentist. It is used to calm you and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. You may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but you will not be unconscious—hence the term “conscious sedation.”
There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will utilize the medication best suited for your overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to you.
Prior to the sedation appointment:
- Please notify us of any change in your health and/or medical condition. Do not bring yourself in for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold (any respiratory infection). Should you become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to reschedule the appointment.
- You must tell the doctor of any drugs that you are currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
- Please dress yourself in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Please make sure that you go to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
- You should not have solid food for at least 8 hours prior to your sedation appointment and only water for up to 5 hours before the appointment.
- You will act drowsy and may become slightly excited very soon after medication is administered.
After the sedation appointment:
- You may be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep yourself away from areas of potential harm.
- If you want to sleep, place yourself on your side with your chin up. Wake yourself every hour and try to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to take sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
- If you vomit, bend over and turn your head to the side to insure that you do not inhale the vomit.
- Because we use local anesthetic to numb your mouth during the procedure, you may have the tendency to bite or chew your lips, cheeks, and/or tongue; and you may rub and scratch your face after treatment. To prevent any injury to these areas, please use caution when exhibiting these behaviors.
Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.