Most operations involve some form of recovery, and more involved dental procedures are no different. Depending on the condition of your teeth and the procedure you are having done, your recovery might be as simple as avoiding hard foods for a few days or as complex as following a pain management regimen. Below is some basic information regarding post operative care after dental surgery.
Because every smile is different, recovering from smile makeovers differs from person to person. However, sensitivity to hot and cold is common after a smile makeover, as your teeth may have been adjusted significantly. It can also take some time to adjust to the way that your new bite feels, especially if you have multiple teeth that have been changed with the help of dental crowns, veneers, or composite dental bonding. If you can’t seem to chew comfortably with your new smile, please give our office a call to have your teeth adjusted.
Depending on the nature of your smile makeover, your gums may also feel sore for a few days. To soothe soreness, rinse your mouth with warm salt water three times a day. A solution of one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water can help to eliminate oral bacteria and relieve inflammation. Mild pain relievers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen can also help to manage pain, although any medication should be taken under the supervision of your dentist.
Some patients also notice changes in their speech after a full smile makeover, although this typically only lasts for a few days. Your brain needs some time to process how to speak properly with your new teeth, and it could take up to a week to speak normally.
If you received dental implants, crowns, veneers, or dental bonding as part of your smile makeover, take special care of your new teeth. Avoid foods that could crack, damage, or discolor your teeth, and always wear a mouth guard if you grind your teeth or play sports.
If you have any problems or concerns, don’t hesitate to call and ask for help, advice, or encouragement.
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If you have to have a tooth pulled, it is very important to help the blood clot to form in the socket. Immediately after the tooth is pulled, you will be instructed to bite down on clean gauze for 30-45 minutes to start the forming of this protective clot.
After the blood clot forms, do not disturb the clot by rinsing your mouth vigorously, brushing the area, or sucking through a straw. Patients should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol after the tooth removal, since these activities can hinder blood flow and oxygen to the area. Swelling is normal after an extraction, but usually subsides within 48 hours. However, swelling can be improved by applying an ice pack to the area.
Your Boston Dentists may also prescribe pain medication or antibiotics to help the area to heal and feel better. Take your medication exactly as it is prescribed, and focus on staying properly hydrated. Eat soft foods until the area feels comfortable. To keep your other teeth healthy, resume your normal dental hygiene routine no later than 24 hours after the procedure.
If you start having problems with heavy bleeding, swelling, or severe pain, call our office immediately!
Dental implants are installed in stages, with the first stage being the actual placement of titanium posts. Because the placement of these posts involves making incisions in the gum tissue and physically placing posts in the jaw tissue, most patients experience pain and swelling after implant placement.
To help you to reduce the pain and swelling, ice packs can be placed around the jaw or teeth. When you use ice packs, use them for 15 minutes on and then 15 minutes off, so that the cold doesn’t damage your facial tissues. It is also important to take the pain medication and antibiotics prescribed by your doctor carefully to reduce your chances for complications like infections.
For the first 24 hours after dental implant placement, you shouldn’t rinse, spit, or suck through a straw, as these actions can dislodge protective blood clots. Daily dental hygiene is crucial for all dental surgery patients, but especially for people who have undergone dental implant surgery. The proper removal of plaque is important for keeping bacterial levels in check and protecting the health of your remaining teeth.
If you experience heavy bleeding, swelling, or fever 24 hours after your dental implant surgery, it is important to contact our office immediately. It is also important to note that patients who undergo general anesthesia should not drive the day of surgery.
Your Boston dentist will give you proper instructions for post op care specific to you procedure. Be sure to pay attention and listen to their instructions. If there are more specific questions or concerns about post op care which were not mentioned above please discuss them with your dentist who will be happy to answer all of your questions and concerns.
Maria E. Cardenas
Michael G. O’Toole