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Expectations After Dental Care in Charleston, South Carolina

What To Expect After Your Extraction

Bleeding: Bite firmly on the gauze for 30-45 minutes. If bleeding continues, replace gauze with another as provided and maintain pressure for another 30 minutes. Please limit your activities for the first 24 hours. The more active you are, the more you will bleed. Some oozing of blood is normal, and it may persist for 48 hours. Do not spit, smoke or drink through a straw for the first 48 hours. These actions prolong your bleeding and may dislodge the blood clot.
Medications: If you have been prescribed medications, take as directed. Antibiotics should be taken for the prescribed number of days. Pain medication should only be taken as needed. Taking pain medications on an empty stomach may cause nausea.
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​Rinsing: Do not rinse your mouth today. Tomorrow, you may rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water). Do not rinse vigorously. Continue this every three to four hours, especially after meals. Do not use commercial mouthwash during the healing period.
Eating and Drinking: A light diet of soft foods is recommended for the first day. Begin a regular diet when it is comfortable for you. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Avoid carbonated, alcoholic and hot beverages for the first 24 hours.
Oral Hygiene: Continue brushing and flossing, being extra gentle near the extraction site. A clean mouth heals faster.
Swelling: Some patients have slight swelling after an extraction. A cold compress may be used the first 24 hours if needed. Use the compress for 20 minutes at a time. After the first 24 hours, use warm moist heat for 20 minutes at a time.
Bone Fragments: During the healing process, you may notice small bony fragments working their way through the gums. Most fragments will work themselves loose; however, we can easily remove them if they are too annoying.

What to Expect After Your Filling

When an anesthetic (numbing medication) has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after your appointment. It is very easy to bite your cheek or tongue while you are numb. During this time, avoid hot beverages and do not chew on anything. You may have soft foods, such as oatmeal or a smoothie. Once the numbness has gone away, you may return to your regular diet. 
Having some soreness at the site of the injection is normal. Ibuprofen or Tylenol taken every three to four hours works well to ease the soreness. You may also experience hot and cold sensitivity. If the soreness continues for more than a week, or it gets worse, contact our office.
If your bite feels uneven or you have persistent pain, please call our office for an appointment.

What to Expect After Root Canal Therapy

You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed. Do not irritate the area to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication or the loss of temporary restoration (filling), call your dentist immediately.

What to Expect With Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your crown/bridge, you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy food while you have the temporary restoration.
There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent restoration is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt-water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.
When the permanent crown or bridge is placed, it may feel awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural teeth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.