Patient information

Post-Op Instructions

Teeth Whitening

Tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold air and drinks is very common after teeth whitening treatments. Any tooth sensitivity and soreness should gradually disappear after a few days, but you may wish to use desensitising toothpaste or tooth mousse before, during and after tooth whitening.
For the first couple of days after whitening, avoid eating dark or reddish coloured foods and beverages, including tea, coffee and red wine. It’s also best to avoid smoking, as initially your teeth are more susceptible towards staining until they settle down.
Please note, any tooth coloured fillings will not whiten and you may need to replace older fillings to match your newly whitened teeth.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening

To use your whitening trays, bead the bleaching gel into the tray making sure you don’t overload it. Carefully insert the tray into your mouth over your teeth and wipe off any excess gel, making sure none remains on your gums. If your gums become irritated, it’s usually a sign you have used too much gel. Follow the dentist’s instruction in regards to the time of wear but if your teeth feel a little sensitive, simply stop and reduce the time or frequency. While whitening, do not rinse your mouth or eat, drink or smoke. Do not swallow the whitening gel. After removing your whitening trays, gently clean them using a toothbrush before rinsing them and letting them dry. When using a home whitening kit, make sure you continue to brush and floss.

Root Canal Therapy

Initially your tooth may feel sore for several days so avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until it settles down. If needed, take ibuprofen for the first couple of days, but if you notice any increase in pain, tenderness, swelling or a reaction to the medication, please contact us immediately. You should also contact us if you lose the temporary restoration in your tooth.

Crowns and Bridges

When your teeth are first prepared, you may receive a temporary restoration that isn’t as strong as the permanent version. Please take care when cleaning your teeth and when eating. Gently brush your teeth and take care not to pull on the tooth when flossing. Avoid eating very sticky or hard foods while your temporary tooth is in place.

It’s normal to experience some sensitivity after the temporary or permanent restoration is placed which should soon subside. This can be relieved with a warm salt water rinse or with over-the-counter painkillers. If your temporary crown or bridge becomes dislodged, please contact us immediately to have it re-cemented, as otherwise it could affect the fit of your permanent restoration.

White Fillings

Once the anaesthetic wears off, your tooth might feel a bit sensitive. Avoid very hot or cold foods and drinks for the first few days. After this period you shouldn’t feel any symptoms. However, if the cavity was deeper then sensitivity can last up to a few months but it should subside over time. If there is ongoing pain then tooth may have pulpal involvement.

Scaling and Root Planing

Initially your gums may feel sore or irritated for a few days. To relieve discomfort, rinse your mouth with warm salt water 2 to 3 times a day, using 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 250 ml water. This will relieve the pain and keep the area clean. Continue brushing and flossing right after this procedure, but take care to brush gently so as to not cause any further irritation. If you experience any swelling in the area, use a cold compress and take some over-the-counter painkillers. Avoid eating very hard or chewy foods for the first two or three days after treatment until the area heals. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after the first few days, please contact us so we can help you.

Veneers

Once your tooth is prepared, you will receive a temporary veneer that is not as strong as the real thing. Please be careful when brushing, particularly when flossing as pulling the floss up and out of the tooth could dislodge the veneer. When eating, please avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have your temporary veneer.

Tooth Extractions

After you have a tooth removed please follow these guidelines carefully to avoid complications and to ensure smoother and faster healing. Directly after oral surgery, please wait at least two hours before eating so the anaesthetic can wear off to avoid biting your cheeks or tongue.
Bleeding
It’s perfectly normal for an extraction site to bleed or to ooze slightly for the first 24 hours after oral surgery. Immediately after surgery you will need to rest, but do not lie flat as this could prolong bleeding. Instead, prop your head up on a pillow when lying down.
Using Gauze to Stop Bleeding
We will provide you with plenty of gauze to cope with any bleeding immediately after surgery. Carefully fold up the gauze, forming it into a small pack that can be placed over the extraction site. Keep firm pressure on the site by biting down gently for 1 to 2 hours. You can change the gauze pack every 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the gauze after 1 to 2 hours or when the bleeding stops.
Ice Packs
When making an ice pack, make sure it’s covered with a thin towel so the ice isn’t directly in contact with your skin. Apply ice packs to the outside of the face for the first 2 to 8 hours after oral surgery, holding the pack in place for 15 minutes before removing it for another 15 minutes. This will help reduce swelling and discomfort.
Medications
Please do not use any medication with aspirin as this could increase bleeding. In most cases, any pain can be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers.
Diet and Lifestyle
Make sure you drink plenty of water for the first couple of days after surgery. Avoid taking any strenuous physical exercise for the first few days. Please do not use a straw or spit, as this could loosen the blood clot that will have formed in the extraction site. If the blood clot becomes loose, this can delay healing and may increase the risk of infection and pain. Please do not smoke as this will slow down healing. If you experience any increase in pain or tenderness, or feel that the extraction site isn’t healing properly, please call us. Stick to a soft and cold diet for first 24 hours and to eating soft foods for the first few days after surgery. Suggested foods include ice cream, yoghurt, soups, mashed potatoes, smoothies and other foods that don’t require much chewing.
Oral Hygiene
Please brush your remaining teeth as normal but take care to avoid the site where the tooth was removed. Do not rinse your mouth or swish for the first 24 hours after oral surgery.
Possible Problems after a Tooth Extraction
Dry Socket
This condition affects a tiny percentage of people after tooth extractions and can cause severe pain, a putrid smell and a persistent bad taste. It’s caused by poor clot formation at the extraction site, or because the clot has become dislodged. If you have any of these symptoms or notice the pain becomes worse after the first couple of days, please contact us immediately.
Fever
It’s worth checking your temperature for the first one to 2 days after surgery. If your temperature increases beyond 37°C, please contact our dental practice.
Swelling
Some swelling is perfectly normal during the first one to two days after oral surgery. However, if the swelling continues or is excessive after the first couple of days, please call us immediately.

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