Post Op Care & What to Expect - Bluegrass Oral Health Center
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Post Op Care & What to Expect


  • Immediately after your filling appointment it is best to wait until your numbing sensation wears off before eating or drinking as not to cause injury from biting or burns.
  • For the first 24 hours it is best not to eat on the side of the fillings that were placed.
  • Tooth Colored fillings set up immediately, but amalgam (silver) fillings take 12 hours to harden.
  • It is not uncommon to have sensitivity for over a month after a filling, however if pain persists over 20 seconds or if the teeth are routinely painful to biting, it is important to return to the office for evaluation.  The most common cause of pain after fillings is a bite that is hitting hard.  This can result in pain when eating, a bruised feeling, and sensitivity to hot and cold. In this case a minor adjustment is all that is needed.


  • Post-operative care of dental extractions is extremely important.  When a tooth has been removed it leaves hole that needs to be filled in by a clot caused by bleeding.  If this clot is disrupted in any way you can get a dry socket.  A clot can be disrupted by smoking, coughing, sucking through a straw, impaction of food, vigorous rinsing, or dry gauze.
  • Our recommendation is to place gauze with pressure until the initial bleeding has stopped.  This will take approximately 1 hour.  After the initial bleeding is stopped it is best leave the area alone for 3-4 days.  Your doctor may choose to prescribe an antibacterial rinse, however anything else placed will only delay healing.  This includes more gauze, orajel, vigorous salt water rinsing, and most home remedies.  You can resume gently brushing in the rest of the mouth the evening of the extraction. After 3-4 days you can begin gently rinsing with warm salt water to keep the area clean and free of impacted food.
  • In the event of a dry socket it is best to return to the office for us to clean and evaluate the area.  A dry socket is where the clot is gone and the bone is exposed to the open air with no new bleeding to stimulate healing.  These are extremely painful and will take time to go away.
  • If sutures were placed, they will dissolve in 3-7 days in most cases.  It is normal for pain to spike at the 3-4 day point and then to gradually reduce over the rest of the week.  If pain spikes after 4 days, it is likely the sign of an infection or dry socket and needs to be checked.


  • We place two different types of crowns, immediate CEREC crowns that are cemented permanently on your first visit, and temporary crowns that you will return for your permanent crown.
  • With an immediate, CEREC crown, you can begin to have full function immediately following the procedure.  The cement that we use sets up immediately.  Similar to fillings, sensitivity is normal with a new crown for up to a month.  If you have discomfort biting or chewing, or the tooth stays sensitive to cold, it likely requires a small bite adjustment.
  • If you had one or multiple temporaries placed you will need to be careful until you get your permanent crown.  The temporary cement that is used is designed to easily remove your crown for the placement of the permanent.  This means that the temporary could come off with brushing, flossing, or eating.  You will want to eat on the opposite side of your mouth as much as possible, and take great great in brushing gently.  Flossing is not necessary for the duration of your temporary.  Mouth rinses can help keep the area clean as well.  In the event that the crown comes off please call the office immediately so it can be replaced.

Root Canals

  • The majority of times after a root canal a tooth will simply feel bruised.  However if pain intensifies over the next 3 days please contact our office as it is likely a sign of residual infection.
  • After we perform a root canal care must be taken to avoid hard or crunchy foods on that tooth until a permanent crown can be placed.  This is because a root canal hollows out the inside of the tooth and makes it weaker than a normal tooth.


  • After implant placement it is important to avoid eating in the area of the implant for the first 7 days.
  • You can begin rinsing with warm salt water very gently in the area after the first 24 hours.
  • Most often the doctor will choose to place a healing screw that is just above the gums.  This may become loose and if noticed needs to be tightened.
  • If sutures are placed they will dissolve in the first 4-7 days, unless otherwise noted by doctor.
Dental Implants


  • After receiving a new set of dentures a good rule of thumb is that however many decades old you are, that is how many weeks it will take to get used to your new teeth.  For example a twenty year old will take 2 weeks, while a 50 year old may take a month.  If problems or difficult persist longer than this it is best to have them looked at as adjustments may be needed.
  • If painful areas arise these need to be dealt with immediately.  Most often small adjustments are all that is needed to relieve pressure areas.
  • We recommend not sleeping in your dentures as this may cause infections and soreness in your mouth.  Daily cleaning of your dentures is absolutely critical for good fit and a healthy mouth.  Also, brushing your tongue and gums is still very important to maintain good health.
  • When not wearing your dentures, place them in a cup of water because you want them to be in a wet environment similar to your mouth.
  • If you have implant supported dentures you will need to change the gaskets in your dentures out at least once a year.  If your implant supported dentures were fitting well but have changed, this is a sign that it is time to change them.  Your fit should go back to the day you got them.


  • After both IV and oral sedation the medications that we use will be in your system for hours after the procedure.  Each person’s body will be affected differently, therefore we advise against driving or working at all during the day of the procedure.
  • It is best to have supervision following the procedure because most often patients don’t realize that they are still under the effect of the medication prescribed.
  • Nausea,  prolonged sleepiness, impaired cognitive and motor skills  are the biggest side effects and may last for 24 hours.
  • When nitrous oxide is used the effect immediately wears off after the procedure.  After its use you can immediately drive, and it is safe for pregnant women.  Nausea is the biggest side, and may prove difficult for some individuals.