Care & Safety

Surgical Instructions

Big Smiles Dental wants its patients to be comfortable and informed during every step of the treatment process. We want our patients to be prepared for their procedure and encourage them to ask questions about the treatments they will be receiving. The following is a starting point for patients who want more information about their procedure and the process Big Smiles Dental will be following. It may help patients to put together a list of questions that they want answered during their consultation.

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.
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.
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.