Dr. David De Ainza, DDS, PC

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833 SW 11th Avenue, Suite 500 Contact Us

Post-Op Instructions

Anesthesia: Avoid eating while your lips and/or tongue feels numb. Duration is quite variable depending on the amount used and your metabolism. Numbness typically lasts between 1-5 hours. Temporarily, the injection site can be tender or the surrounding muscles may become tight.

Extraction: Expect some tenderness at the extraction site, this is normal. Take any meds as advised by your doctor. Avoid disturbing the site with your tongue, drinking through a straw, smoking, or any strenuous activity for the first few days following surgery. A soft diet is advised. Begin warm saltwater rinses the day following surgery and continue for 5 days. A small amount of blood oozing is normal. If you feel bleeding is excessive or pain is increasing after a couple days, then call your doctor.

Scaling and Root Planing: It’s normal for gum tissues to feel tender following a deep cleaning. Likewise, root surfaces may be sensitive, particularly if you have gum recession. OTC analgesics, such as ibuprofen work well for mild pain. Occasionally, a fluoride desensitizing varnish will be applied to the teeth to minimize sensitivity. Avoid hard, crunchy foods for a few days, and especially popcorn. Keep up with good homecare.

Fillings: Occasionally a tooth with a new filling may be temperature sensitive. This is generally temporary, but can last longer if the cavity was particularly deep. In most cases this will resolve on its own, but if the sensitivity is intense or lingering, contact your dentist. Bite sensitivity is also possible. Sometimes this sensation is due to the anesthetic and subtle changes to the biting surface of the tooth. If it persists beyond a couple days the ligament of the tooth may feel bruised, then your dentist may need to check and adjust your bite.

Temporary Crowns:
Following a crown or bridge preparation, a temporary crown is used to protect the teeth. Temporary cement holds it in place and seals out debris. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods on it. Keep the area clean. When flossing, pull the floss from the side instead of back through the contact area. If your temporary should break or come off, call your dentist. In the interim, clean out the temporary and it can be repositioned using denture adhesive or Vaseline. It is normal for the tooth to feel a little sensitive following crown preparation or if a temporary comes off.

Dentures: New dentures and poorly fitting dentures can rub, causing sore spots on the gum tissues. If this happens, please contact the office for an adjustment. Make sure dentures are removed at night during sleep. It is import to let tissues “breathe” and to avoid irritation caused by clenching activity or plaque buildup on the appliance. Clean dentures daily with a brush and mild soap or mouthwash. Soaking them in water loosens plaque and food debris. Check with your dentist before using certain cleaners. If adhesive is needed only use a small amount and be sure to thoroughly remove previous adhesive.

TMJ Pain/Clenching/Bruxing: TMJ pain can result from various causes—including injury, chronic jaw clenching, poor posture/sleep positioning. Regardless the cause, pain can be felt in the joint (near the ear), the chewing muscles, the temporal sides of the head, and in the neck. During acute flare-ups avoid opening wide or especially chewy foods. Use a warm compress to relax muscles for at least 10-15 minutes a couple times a day, if possible. Gentle self massage of the cheeks and chewing muscles. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, can be helpful to control inflammation. If your have a night guard, make sure you wear it. Contact your dentist if pain becomes especially problematic. Sometimes a night guard can be made to protect teeth and a physical therapy or other specialty referral may be indicated.