G. Scott Louderback Dentistry

G. Scott Louderback Dentistry

Post-Treatment Instructions


Dental Care Center

Access comprehensive post-treatment instructions for a successful and speedy recovery and care.

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Tooth-Colored Fillings

Post-Op Instructions for Tooth-Colored FillingsSensitivity to cold, sweetness, and pressure is a normal response to new fillings and will improve with time.

The filling material sets up completely, so you can eat on it after you leave the office.

Initially, your bite may feel different. If, after a few days, there appears to be a persistent high spot on a filling when you bite down, call the office so it can be corrected.

Pain for no apparent reason at all, pain that wakes you up at night, or pain where the tooth hurts and continues to get worse may indicate a bad nerve inside a tooth. If these symptoms persist and fail to improve, call the office.

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Root Canal Therapy

Post-Operative Instructions for Root Canal TherapyWhen the anesthetic wears off it is normal for some aching or throbbing to occur. At the first sign of any discomfort, take the prescribed pain medication, as it will be more effective before any pain gets to be too bad.
Avoid chewing on the tooth for the next few days so that the area may heal more efficiently. An anti-inflammatory medication was placed beside the tooth to keep the area comfortable. If you chew on the tooth, then pain may occur when the medication wears off in a day or two.
If antibiotics were prescribed, take them until they are gone, even if the tooth feels fine. There may still be some infection in the surrounding bone tissue.
It is beneficial to minimize any physical activity for the next 24 hours, as this will increase inflammation around the tooth and your blood pressure, both of which can lead to more pain.
The tooth was recontoured to eliminate any biting pressure from the opposing teeth, allowing the healing process to be more comfortable. If after two days, there is an increase in pain or swelling and you can make the tooth hurt by putting the teeth together, then you may need to come into the office so we can adjust the bite pattern of the offending tooth.
Most teeth that have had root canal therapy will require full crown coverage. Otherwise, the tooth may fracture and need to be extracted. Any tooth that is not properly restored after root canal therapy may become re-infected, requiring a retreatment of the root canal.
If there are any concerns, beyond those mentioned above, don't hesitate to call the office.

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Crowns & Bridges

Post-Operative Instructions for Final Crown Seat
With proper home care and regular dental visits, your final crown or bridge is designed to last for many years.

It takes hours for some bonding materials to completely set. Therefore, the day the crown or bridge is seated, it is best to avoid hard or sticky foods for the remainder of the day. This includes foods such as caramels, taffy, jerky, ice or hard candy.

Some other bonding materials set-up immediately and you can function on them when you leave the office.

Short-term sensitivity to cold or chewing pressure is possible, but should gradually improve.

A snug or tight feeling of the crown or bridge may be present after it is bonded into place, but this feeling will dissipate shortly.

If after a few days your bite feels "uncomfortable", call the office.

A handsome man with curly hair and green eyes is smiling and showing his white, aligned teeth.

Temporary Crowns

Post-Operative Instructions for Temporary Crowns
Stay away from sticky, tacky, chewy foods.

Stay away from hard foods such as: ice, hard candy, peanuts, popcorn kernels.

If the temporary crown comes off when we are not in the office, place toothpaste or Vaseline inside the temporary and place it back on the tooth. If you have any further problems, call the office.

Try not to floss around the temporary. If you must floss, pull the floss through instead of popping the floss out.

Some sensitivity with the tooth and gums is normal.

Remember, it is important the temporary stays on until the final crown is seated in order to keep the tooth comfortable and prevent other teeth from shifting.

A dentist checks the teeth of a young African-American woman.

Tooth Extractions

Post-Operative Instructions for Extractions
When the anesthetic begins to wear off, take the prescribed pain medications before any pain gets to be severe. It works best as a preventative measure against pain. Take the medication as indicated.

Some bleeding is to be expected. Even a little bleeding may seem like a lot as it mixes with your saliva and everything looks red in your mouth. If bleeding becomes a concern, place some gauze, a damp towel, or a tea bag over the area and bite down. In a short while it will stop.

To minimize swelling, apply ice to the area for 30 minutes on, then 30 minutes off, for 5 hours.

Do not rinse the area the day of the extraction, as that may dislodge the clot and prevent proper healing. Beginning the day following the extraction, you should rinse the area every 4 hours using warm salt water or 3% hydrogen peroxide. Continue rinsing for 5 days.

DO NOT SMOKE for the next 48 hours. Smoking is the number one reason for post-operative infections (also known as dry sockets).

DO NOT drink through a straw.

If sutures have been placed, they need to be removed in 5-10 days.

A soft or liquid diet for 24 hours following the procedure is helpful. It takes about a day for a strong clot to properly form and any food particles that fall into the extraction site can lead to a post-operative infection.

Post-operative infections will not occur until 3-5 days after the procedure. Infection is indicated by an increase in pain and/or swelling.

If problems occur beyond those mentioned here, call the office.

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Pain Medications

Pain medications are most effective when taken before pain gets to be severe. If pain is a possibility following a dental procedure, it is best to take the pain medication while you are still numb.
If the first dose doesn't effectively reduce the pain within 30 minutes, then take another pain tablet. Keep your activity level to a minimum to limit inflammation. Keeping your head elevated will reduce pain for any dental treatment.
For maximum pain relief from over-the-counter medications, take a combination of 800mg of ibuprofen with 1000mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol). This will give you some pain relief without the side effects of prescription pain medications.