Post-Care Instructions

Tooth Removal

Sometimes tooth removal is the first step toward getting you back to optimal oral health. Follow these recommendations to aid in healing.

Immediately after the treatment, keep pressure on the area by biting on gauze for about 30 minutes. If any bleeding persists, change the gauze and continue biting for another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If you find you are only experiencing very slight bleeding, this is normal and it may last as long as 24 hours.

If prescribed, take pain medication. Also, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as Advil, Aleve, or Motrin can alleviate discomfort. Tylenol is safe to take as well. If you experience any swelling, use an ice bag for ten minutes on, ten minutes off.

Your first few meals should be liquid or very soft. Consider pasta, pudding, or soups. Do not use a straw.

Over the next few days, you should not spit, smoke, or perform any intense physical activities, as these behaviors can delay the healing process. Brush your teeth normally, taking care around the treatment site. Also, you can use warm salt water rinses to aid in healing (1/4 teaspoon salt per cup of water).

If you have any questions, or experience pain or discomfort that you believe is abnormal, call us!


Amalgam/Alloy (Silver) Fillings
Amalgam fillings have been used widely in dentistry for over 150 years. They are used in back teeth only.

After receiving an amalgam filling, be very careful with that area of your mouth for the first 24 hours. You may want to avoid chewing on that side, and you might want to eat soft (but not sticky) foods. You might experience some sensitivity to heat and cold – this should go away in a few days, but could take a few months to completely subside.

Composite (Tooth-colored) Filling
Tooth-colored fillings look almost invisible, and are a wonderful way of keeping your smile bright and beautiful.

The composite material is placed in a single visit, just like traditional silver fillings. Once it is in place, the dentist uses a special light to harden the material. This material is completely “cured” before you leave our office. You can usually eat whatever you wish, however, you might want to wait until any anesthetic wears off completely. You may experience some sensitivity in the area, especially to heat and cold. This should go away in a few days, but could last several months.

If you have any pain or discomfort, over-the-counter medications can help. If the discomfort persists for more than a couple of days, please call us!

Be sure to keep your bi-yearly checkups. Fillings can require replacement, and we can help you catch or prevent future problems.


Your doctor will prepare your tooth for a crown by reducing the shape and size of the tooth so that the crown fits properly. An impression will be taken of the prepared tooth, the surrounding area, and the opposing teeth. Before you leave, the doctor will make and place a temporary crown to wear for approximately two-to-three weeks while your permanent crown is custom fabricated at the dental lab.

Take care of your temporary crown by avoiding chewy or sticky foods. Floss carefully by pulling the floss through by the gums instead of the up/down motion. If you don’t feel comfortable flossing around your temporary crown, you can skip that area, but continue to floss all of the rest of your teeth. If the crown becomes loose or comes off, call the office. If you have access to denture adhesive, it can help keep the temporary crown on until you can get in to see the dentist.

It is important to keep the seating appointment that was reserved for you to ensure proper fitting of the permanent crown. At the seating appointment, the dentist will make sure the crown fits properly, looks great, and feels completely comfortable when you bite. The crown will then be cemented on. It will then be your responsibility to brush and floss just as if this was a natural tooth. Crowns can get cavities around them also, so take good care of your teeth, and see your dentist regularly for dental check-ups and cleanings.

If you experience pain that is not controlled by the prescribed medication or over-the-counter medications, or if you experience swelling, please call us, even if after hours.

Endodontic Therapy (Root Canal)

Your treatment may take one or two visits. The goal of root canal therapy is to improve the health of your damaged tooth and to relieve any pain you are experiencing. During treatment, the pulp (nerve) is removed from the interior structure of your tooth through a small opening in the top of your tooth. Then, the canal is sealed with a special material to prevent any bacteria from infecting the bone. Your tooth will also be prepared for a restoration.

You may receive a temporary filling at first. In two-to-four weeks, you will return to our office to receive a permanent, lifelike restoration. This restoration may be a tooth-colored resin or a crown.

Over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medications, such as Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, or Motrin should alleviate any discomfort. Tylenol may be used if you experience stomach discomfort with the anti-inflammatories. Be careful not to chew hard foods in the area treated. This area may remain tender for several days and occasionally for a few weeks.

If you experience pain that is not controlled by over-the-counter medications, or swelling, please call us, even if after hours.

Care for your treated tooth the same way you would your other teeth. Brush and floss daily, and see your doctor for regular, bi-yearly checkups so your teeth will last as long as you do.

Root Planing and Scaling

If you’ve had a root planing and scaling treatment, also known as active or initial periodontal therapy, you have put yourself on the track toward future healthy gum tissue. However, this area will be a little tender for just a few days.

First, you should rinse your mouth two-to-three times per day with warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt per 8 oz. of water.) Use over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, Aleve, or Motrin to alleviate any discomfort. You may also use Tylenol. Also, be aware that you may experience some sensitivity to cold or pressure on certain teeth.

Your first few meals should be soft. Avoid chips, popcorn, and similar foods for the next three or four days.

Smoking irritates the healing process. If you smoke, refrain from doing so for at least 24 hours after treatment.

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