Post-Op Instructions

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Post-Op Instructions for Root Canal Treatment

1.  While you are anaesthetized, “frozen”, and may not have feeling in the area, please avoid eating or drinking anything hot as you may not feel the heat and may burn yourself.

2.  You may have had a temporary restoration placed in your tooth:

    • If root canal therapy has been initiated you must schedule an additional appointment(s) at our office for completion.
    • If root canal therapy has been completed, you must return to your regular dentist to have the temporary filling replaced. A crown may be recommended. Please avoid pressure or chewing on the tooth (teeth) that has been treated until you have seen your regular dentist for permanent restoration.
    • Please call your dentist as soon as possible after completion of root canal treatment to make an appointment at a time which is convenient for you and your dentist for permanent restoration.

3. You may experience some discomfort on the tooth that has been treated. This may last anywhere between 7-10 days. Swelling in the affected area may also occur. These are not unusual post-operative events.

4. Please continue with any medications prescribed, unless instructed otherwise by the doctor. Notify the office of any problems that may arise from medications being taken.

Remember… If you have any questions or concerns regarding your treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our office!!!

If Your Tooth Has Been Left Open To Drain

In order to alleviate your distress, your tooth has been left open for drainage. Follow these instructions until your next appointment:

1. Irrigate your tooth as instructed with warm salt water for five minutes after every meal or snack (one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Place the warm water in the affected area, hold it there until it cools, then rinse out. A small piece of cotton may have been placed in your tooth. If it falls out,it may be replaced with a fresh piece provided for you.

2. Avoid blocking the open tooth with food by cautiously eating on the opposite side of your mouth. Avoid eating foods that may contain small seeds in it that may get caught in the tooth. To prevent any accidental food blockage, continuously and gently rinse after meals or snacks with warm salt water.

3. Avoid using objects (such as toothpicks) to remove debris within the tooth. Gentle and continuous warm salt water rinses are often all that are needed for removal of debris.

4. If medication(s) have been prescribed, use according to directions.

5. Notify this office in the event of any significant swelling, pain, or problems from the prescribed medication(s).

Remember that even though your tooth may be comfortable, follow-up treatment is necessary!!!!

We expect your recovery period to be as uneventful as possible. However, if a question or concern should arise regarding your treatment or medication being taken, feel free to contact our office.

If You Have Had Surgery

1. Initially, place an ice pack over the surgical site for 1/2 hour. In order to minimize swelling, continue to apply ice packs every 1/2 hour for 15 minutes at a time, during the first 6 hours after surgery (15 min. on then 15 min. off). The ice pack given to you at the time of surgery may be reused by placing it in the freezer. A package of frozen vegetables will also suffice as an ice pack as it will mold to the shape of your face.

2. Swelling may occur after surgery and is completely normal. It may begin 24 hours after surgery then increase for 48 hours, then gradually subside. Sleep with your head in an elevated position for the first couple of nights after surgery.

3. For minor discomfort, use extra strength Tylenol, if not allergic to it (no aspirin products please) every 4-6 hours as required. For discomfort of a more intense nature, use the prescription provided for you. Antibiotics and any other medications prescribed must be taken as directed.

4. Please wait a full 24 hours after surgery before rinsing your mouth. 24 hours after surgery you may rinse after each meal or snack and before retiring at night. Use one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue this until your post surgical visit 7-14 days later. No mouth wash is to be used during this time (as it is very irritating) but an antibacterial rinse may be prescribed by the doctor if necessary.

5. Keep food away from the surgical site. It is important to maintaining proper nourishment. Stick to a soft food diet for the day of and day after surgery.

6. Avoid hot fluids while “frozen” as this may burn your mouth. Warm foods may be taken once the freezing has worn off.

7. Refrain from smoking during the first 48 hours as well as minimizing its frequency during the healing phase. No strenuous exercise for 48 hours after surgery. No drinking or alcoholic beverages while taking the prescribed medications.

8. Keep talking and facial movements to a minimum during the first day and refrain from lifting your lip in order to look at the surgical site.

9. Maintain your normal oral hygiene program of brushing and flossing, except in the surgical site until your post-surgical visit. Periodic (3-4 times daily) salt water rinses and gently running a wet Q-tip over the surface of the teeth in the surgical site (wait 48 hours after surgery before using the Q-tip) will maintain hygiene in the surgical site.

Note: If your sinus was involved during surgery (the doctor and staff will inform you) please refrain from blowing your nose. Please use a nasal decongestant spray to prevent congestion. If blood is seen through the nose, this is not unusual and will subside within 48 hours. If excessive bleeding is seen, please inform the office.

We expect your recovery period to be as uneventful as possible. However, if a question or concern should arise regarding your treatment or medication being taken, feel free to contact our office.

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