Before and After Care

Before

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All patients should observe these guidelines prior to receiving anesthesia.

  • No smoking for at least 12 hours prior to surgery, and no eating or drinking for at least 8 hours before surgery.
  • You must be accompanied by a spouse, friend, or neighbor to the procedure, who will then drive you home after the procedure is completed. You should not drive for at least 24 hours.
  • Do not wear dentures, jewelry or contact lenses.
  • Review the daily medications you take with your dentist. Be sure you can take daily medications on the day of the procedure.

After

Speed your healing with better self-care following your procedure.
To properly heal and avoid complications following oral surgery, patients should follow the instructions given to them by their dentist. Wait a minimum of two hours before eating after surgery to avoid possible nausea caused by the anesthesia. Attempting to eat before the anesthesia wears off could result in soft tissue damage in the mouth because patients are unable to feel all the mouth. The following instructions are guidelines only. The dentist or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover following surgery.
Root Canals
Soreness in the mouth and jaw should be expected for 2 to 3 days. Avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the procedure was performed so the area does not become irritated. Not chewing in the area of the surgery will ensure that the temporary restorative material sets properly. An antibiotic may be prescribed to treat any remaining infection. Call immediately if you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication or the loss of the temporary filling.
Crown and Bridges
Before the finished crown/bridge is placed, a temporary restoration will be provided. Be careful when cleaning or eating because the temporary crown or bridge will not be as sturdy as the permanent one. Brush the area gently and try not to pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. When eating, avoid sticky or chewy foods while using the temporary. You might experience some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. Rinsing with warm salt water will help, and you can take Advil or Tylenol to help with any pain. Once the permanent crown or bridge is installed, it may feel awkward for a few days. Your mouth will need to adjust to the new appliance. It should feel like a natural tooth in less than a week. Inform the dentist if your bite feels abnormal in any way. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. Brush and floss regularly and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.
White Fillings (Bonding)
Your teeth will be sensitive after the anesthesia wears off. Avoid hot and cold food or drink for several hours. After that initial period, the treated teeth will feel like normal. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure the fillings last for a long time.
Scaling and Root Planing
Your teeth will be sensitive after the anesthesia wears off. Avoid hot and cold food or drink for several hours. After that initial period, the treated teeth will feel like normal. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure the fillings last for a long time.
Veneers
Before the permanent veneer is prepared, a temporary will be provided to the patient. As mentioned previously, the temporary will not be as sturdy as the permanent one, so be careful when cleaning and eating. Brush the area gently and when flossing, do not pull up on the tooth because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. Avoid sticky or chewy foods while wearing the temporary. There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will go away as the tissue heals. Rinse with warm salt water and take Advil or Tylenol for pain. When the veneer is placed, it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the restoration, and it should feel like one of your natural teeth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal, let your dentist know. When brushing and flossing, pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line.
Extractions
Because anesthesia is usually required, getting enough rest following the surgery is recommended. You will need to be driven home by a friend or family member. You can expect the extraction site to bleed after the surgery. Gauze will be applied to the wound, but it will need to change when it becomes saturated. Call the dentist if bleeding continues for longer than a day. Do not lie flat while resting because it can prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe pain medication and it should be taken if the site is painful. An ice pack can be applied if the pain persists. If your dentist gives you a solution to clean the wound, be sure to use it. You will only be able to eat soft foods for a few days. Here are some recommendations: gelatin, pudding, yogurt, mashed potatoes, ice cream, thin soups, and any other foods you can eat without chewing. Do not use a straw when drinking. The suction could loosen the sutures and slow the clotting. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or do not feel that the extraction site is healing properly, call your dentist immediately.
After Dental Implant Surgery
Recommended care for patients following implant surgery. Big Smiles Dental recommends that patients get plenty of rest in the 48 to 72 hours following implant surgery. Resting will limit any post-surgery bleeding and help the mouth and gums heal quicker. Patients should drink plenty of fluids, but nothing too cold. Limit the swelling to the face by applying an ice pack in 20-minute intervals for two days. If an implant was placed in the upper portion of your mouth, try not to blow your nose for a period of two weeks. If you have to blow your nose, do so lightly. Bleeding could occur in the mouth for 2 to 3 days following surgery. This is normal. You may also feel slightly uncomfortable the first two days and experience a mild fever. By the third day, you should begin to feel better. When hungry, you can eat but do not chew directly on the wound.
After Wisdom Tooth Removal
Oral care after wisdom teeth removal There will be some post-operative care required following the extraction of wisdom teeth. Maintaining a clean mouth will reduce the risk of infection or other complications following the procedure. After the surgery, a gauze pad will be placed over the extraction site. The pad should not be removed for at least 45 minutes. Do not drink from a straw or rinse the mouth because it may dislodge the blood clot that has formed over the extraction site or disrupt the sutures that were inserted to close the wound. Limit physical activities for at least 24 hours. All daily routines can be continued the next day. All prescribed pain medication should be taken to reduce discomfort once the anesthesia begins to wear off.
Impacted Tooth
A tooth becomes impacted when there is not enough space in the dental arch to accommodate its growth. Surgery is sometimes required to remove the tooth. Following the surgery, there can be mild discomfort and swelling. A cold compress can help alleviate some of the swelling. If your doctor prescribes a pain medication, it should be taken as directed. To encourage faster healing, patients will be asked not to chew on the side of the extraction for 2 to 3 days following the procedure.
Multiple Tooth Extractions
The removal of multiple teeth during a single procedure is not an easy task. Generally, the removal of multiple teeth is related to the preparation of the mouth for a denture. If so, the jawbone will need time to heal before the denture can be placed. If a patient has multiple teeth extracted, the following may be experienced. In the first two days, swelling is likely both inside the mouth and around the eyes. The area around the eyes may also become discolored, which can be helped by a warm compress. The patient may suffer a sore throat because the muscles in the mouth near the extraction site will be irritated. The corners of the mouth may be dry and cracked because the mouth was stretched during surgery. A follow-up appointment with your dentist is usually needed within 48 hours. Discuss any lingering post-surgery symptoms at that time.

The Surgical Site

Expedite healing by allowing the soft tissues to rest. That means no vigorous chewing, excessive spitting or rinsing for the first 24 hours. Any of those activities could cause active bleeding to begin again which could cause an infection to be introduced.

AVOID USING A STRAW to drink liquids. The suction could cause the blood clot to be dislodged. No smoking at all. Smoking can slow healing and contribute to a possible infection.

Do not worry about the stitches if they start to come loose. The sutures will dissolve in 5 to 7 days and should not require removal.

Your Medications

Unless advised by your dentist, take all medications as scheduled. Patients who take blood-thinners (i.e., Coumadin, Jantoven or Warfarin ) should restart those medications as directed following surgery unless there is continued bleeding.

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Pain

Most patients will experience some degree of discomfort or pain as the anesthesia begins to wear off. Big Smiles Dental recommends that you begin taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication once your home. Medications such as Advil/Ibuprofen/Motrin/Aleve can be taken as directed (usually 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours). If you are unable to take anti-inflammatory medications, take Tylenol or acetaminophen as directed on the bottle (usually 650 mg to 1,000 mg every 6 hours). If pain continues, take any prescribed pain medication as directed. All pain medications could cause nausea and vomiting, so follow instructions and try to eat before taking.

Do not wait for pain to become unbearable before using a pain medication. Waiting too long will only make it more difficult to get the pain under control. Moderate to severe pain usually does not last longer than 24 to 72 hours and will usually peak on the third post-operative day. You should begin to feel relief by the fourth day following surgery.

Oral Hygiene

Warm saltwater rinses (1/4 teaspoon table salt with a small cup of water) should be used to clean your mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery. Rinse in the same manner three times daily for one week. LIGHTLY BRUSH your teeth, being careful not to irritate the surgical site.

Your Medications

Unless advised by your dentist, take all medications as scheduled. Patients who take blood-thinners (i.e., Coumadin, Jantoven or Warfarin ) should restart those medications as directed following surgery unless there is continued bleeding.

Bleeding

Oozing or minor bleeding from a surgical site is common. Some bleeding may continue for at least 24 hours. To prevent bleeding, bite on a gauze sponge for 30 minutes to keep firm pressure on the surgical site. Once the oozing has slowed, try to avoid placing gauze or any other irritant near the surgical site. This will lead to continued bleeding and discomfort. Biting on a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze could also help control any persistent oozing.

If active bleeding should recur, carefully rinse your mouth with cold water and apply a fresh gauze sponge to the site. Firm pressure for 15-30 minutes usually controls the problem. Should active bleeding persist, call Big Smiles Dental immediately and a member of our surgical team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Swelling

Some swelling will develop during the first 12 to 24 hours following surgery, often peaking on the third post-operative day. There should be no visible swelling by the fourth day. Placing an ice pack on the affected side at 30-minute intervals during the first 48 hours after surgery will reduce swelling. Any swelling, soreness, or stiffness in the jaw muscles can be relieved by applying a warm moist towel to the affected side of the face several times a day.

Diet

FLUID INTAKE IS MANDATORY. Big Smiles Dental suggests clear liquid beverages such as water, ginger ale, 7-Up, or Sprite during the first 24 hours. Graduate to soft foods and other fluids as your wound heals. Avoid hot liquids until the anesthesia has worn off and the bleeding has stopped. FOOD SELECTION is largely a matter of choice. Soft, cool foods that require little chewing are most easily tolerated.

Activity

Limit activity for the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery. Bleeding and discomfort can be caused by excessive exertion. Elevate your head at a 45-degree angle when you rest.

Do not drive for 24 hours following surgery, especially if you had an anesthesia or if you are taking a prescription pain medication.

Call Big Smiles Dental today at (407) 851-4588 Phone to make an appointment!

Hurricane Ian Update: 

Big Smiles Dental is going to be closed from Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 due to our weather. Will be returning on Monday October 3rd weather permitting. Please stay safe!!! See you on Monday!  

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