At Hunter Dental in Markham, we want a smooth and healthy recovery from your dental treatments or procedures. Our dentists discuss what to expect in the healing stages and provide tips and other relevant information for post-procedure care.
Post-Operative Instructions & Care
See the list below for care and patient information for some of our more common procedures. Speak to one of our dentists or dental team if you are considering a treatment that is not found below, or you are looking for more information.
Treatments & Procedures
If detected in time, tooth decay can be removed and replaced with a white composite filling. Sensitivity to cold is common after this procedure, especially in the first few days. In some cases, the sensitivity may last four to six weeks, gradually improving over time. A local anesthetic is usually used for this treatment, so it is best to avoid hot food and drinks while you are still numb. You can eat and drink normally after the anesthetic wears off, usually in 2-4 hours. Brush and floss your filled tooth normally.
If your bite feels off, or your teeth feel as if they’re bumping into one another during chewing after three days post-treatment, call us. An adjustment may be needed. If at any time discomfort is severe or getting worse, please call us so that we may assess your symptoms.
- Crowns & Bridges
Because crowns and bridges generally take multiple appointments to complete, a temporary crown or bridge is placed with weak cement to protect the teeth while your custom crown or bridge is fabricated at a lab. A temporary crown or bridge can sometimes loosen or come off. Call us if this happens and bring the temporary crown or bridge in with you to the office so it can be re-cemented into place. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods while your temporary restoration is in place. Brush normally, but do not floss that area unless instructed to do so.
During this procedure, your teeth will be anesthetized so please be careful eating and drinking for the first few hours afterwards. Avoid hot food and drinks, and be careful not to bite your tongue or cheek while chewing.
If your bite feels uneven, or you sense that your adjacent teeth are bumping into the new crown or bridge during chewing, you may need a bite adjustment and you should probably call the office.
When your final crown or bridge is placed it is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity within the first few weeks. Your dentist or dental hygienist should instruct you on how best to clean your new crown or bridge.
- Root Canal Treatment
The root canal procedure generally takes two separate appointments to complete. During the first appointment, the bacterial-infected pulp tissue (nerve and blood supply to your tooth) is removed and the canals are thoroughly cleaned. Temporary restoration and medicament are normally placed to try and allow your tooth to heal. It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days. These symptoms are usually temporary and might respond to over-the-counter pain medications. You may receive a prescription from your dentist for stronger pain medication if needed. You should brush and floss the root canal-treated tooth gently but normally unless instructed otherwise by your dentist. Avoid hard or sticky foods in this area while the temporary restoration is in place. If the temporary restoration feels like it has dislodged, please call our office to come in and have it replaced.
At the second appointment a rubber-like canal sealer and final filling are placed, usually 2 to 3 weeks after the first appointment. This final restoration is very important to seal the tooth from bacteria contained in your saliva. Over time the tooth may become brittle and have a higher risk of fracture. Your dentist should recommend the best long-term treatment option for you.
Please contact our office right away if you experience visible swelling, a return of the original symptoms, or your bite feels uneven (high) in between appointments or after the final restoration has been placed.
In general, our office can treat teeth requiring endodontic therapy. However, we may refer to a specialist (Endodontist) for reasons such as calcified canals, accessory canals, medical condition of the patient and/or the anxiety level of the patient. Endodontic treatment by a specialist is generally shorter.
After tooth extraction, it is important to follow the care instructions to ensure that proper healing occurs. Gauze will be placed on the extraction site to try and limit the bleeding and try to help a blood clot form. Bite down on this gauze with consistent pressure for at least 45 minutes. If the gauze becomes saturated, replace it with clean gauze given to you by your dentist. Dampen the gauze slightly with clean warm water and place it over the extraction site. Bite down firmly until bleeding subsides. A slight amount of blood will continue to come from the extraction site until the clot has formed. However, if heavy bleeding continues, contact our office. Remember, a little bit of blood mixed with saliva can look like a lot of blood.
Avoid the use of straws or anything that will create a sucking motion, as this can dislodge the clot. It is also important to avoid vigorous rinsing, alcoholic drinks or mouth rinses, and spitting because these can also disturb the clot.
Do not brush or floss the teeth adjacent to the extraction healing site for the rest of the day. You can brush and floss the rest of your teeth normally. Gently rinse your mouth out after brushing and lean over the sink letting the water flow out without spitting. The day after your extraction you may gently rinse your mouth and extraction site with warm salt water (around half of a teaspoon with 8 ounces of warm water) after meals to clean the area.
Avoid vigorous physical activity for the first few days after the extraction. We strongly advise against smoking especially in the first week after the extraction. Smoking can delay the healing of the extraction site. We recommend that you quit smoking for your oral and overall health.
If you experience intense pain and an odour from the extraction site, usually beginning 2-5 days following a lower tooth extraction, you may have a dry socket infection. Please call us immediately. If you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, fever, nausea or vomiting, contact us immediately.
- Partial & Complete Dentures
It can take time for you to adjust to a new partial or complete denture. It can be helpful to eat softer foods for the first few weeks while your gums adjust. Over time, you can incorporate harder foods into your diet. It is normal to experience some discomfort associated with pressure points during this adjustment period. Toughening of the gum tissues and adjustments to your denture by the dentist may be needed before complete comfort is achieved. If pressure points are present for more than four days, call the office for an adjustment before the sore spots ulcerate.
Like your natural teeth, partial and complete dentures should be cleaned daily. They should be brushed twice daily with a denture toothbrush and toothpaste. Line your sink with a facecloth to help prevent breaking your partial or complete denture if dropped while cleaning. Clean your gums and tongue with a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush twice daily while your partial or complete dentures are out of your mouth. This will help prevent a buildup of bacteria that can lead to bad breath. At night we now recommend that you keep your partial or complete dentures in your mouth to maintain your airway. From time to time it is ok to take your dentures out and soak them in a cleanser. In the morning, remove the dentures from the solution and brush with the denture toothbrush and toothpaste.
It is important to remember that the gum tissue and bone underneath your denture might recede over time. Eventually, your partial or complete denture may feel that it is rocking or losing suction. Following an examination, the dentist may recommend that a professional reline or rebasing is necessary. If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call.
Appropriate Application of Denture Adhesive:
Due to existing conditions in the mouths of many denture patients, achieving optimal complete denture retention may not be possible. Therefore, the proper use of denture adhesives should be an acceptable means of augmenting the stability and retention of even a new prosthesis. The use of small amounts of hydrated paste denture adhesives that can be wetted to produce a moisture layer can produce the viscosity characteristics favourable to increased retention (increased adhesion and cohesion).
1. Dry the tissue side (inside) of the denture with a paper towel.
2. Dispense a small amount of paste denture adhesive onto the denture surface. For the upper denture, place the paste in the middle of the denture surface. For the lower denture, place small drops of adhesive in 2-3 locations.
3. Once dispensed onto the inside surface of the denture, evenly disperse/spread the paste with a clean, dry finger until there is an even, thin layer of adhesive over all of the inside surface of the denture.
4. The denture should be submerged in a container of warm water for 30-60 seconds.
5. The denture is then placed in the mouth and firmly seated into position with balanced finger pressure for approximately 15 seconds.
Please note: The use of excessive amounts of denture adhesives will alter the fit, will give less retention, and will alter the occlusion resulting in soreness. The need for use of excessive amounts of denture adhesive is usually an indication that the denture needs to be refit to the ridge.
Technique for Denture Adhesive Removal:
Battery-powered toothbrushes are now available to consumers. Their use should greatly enhance thorough cleaning of both denture surfaces and denture bearing oral tissues and will stimulate blood flow to the tissues. A small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush should serve to freshen the patient’s breath and improve taste.
Adhesive Removal From Dentures and Oral Tissues
1. Remove the denture(s) from the mouth, and thoroughly scrub the entire inside surface of the denture(s) with the electric toothbrush (wet bristles first). This procedure is not intended to eliminate adhesive from the dentures. Rather, this initial scrubbing will loosen residual adhesive material, facilitating subsequent removal.
2. The denture is then held submerged in a container of warm water and simultaneously scrubbed using the electric toothbrush. Firm pressure should be applied to the brush in order to eliminate adhesive from the denture surface. Particles or clumps of adhesive material will be seen rising to the surface of the water. This procedure is continued until the entire denture surface is free of residual adhesive.
3. To clean and stimulate the oral tissues, the electric toothbrush may again be used. A small amount of toothpaste is applied to the brush. All denture bearing soft tissues and tissues that contact the cameo surfaces of the dentures, including the tongue, are gently massaged. At first, this may cause a tingling sensation in the patient. This sensation should disappear with repeated use.
4. Following thorough massaging of the oral soft tissues, warm water is introduced into the patient’s mouth. Holding this water in the mouth, the electric toothbrush is again used to massage all oral soft tissues. The patient is then instructed to expectorate the water and residual debris into a sink, leaving the oral tissue free of adhesive.
5. Fresh toothpaste is applied to the electric toothbrush bristles and the oral tissues are again gently massaged.
Please note: The use of mouthwash is discouraged due to the very high alcohol content in most of them. Warm saline “soakings” and massaging of the oral soft tissues with a soft brush and regular formula toothpaste should keep the oral tissues much healthier.
- Scaling, Root Planing & Deep Gum Cleaning
A gum disease treatment often involves anesthesia (freezing) to try and make the procedure comfortable for you. Avoid eating, especially hot foods and drinks, until the freezing wears off usually after a few hours.
Some tenderness and sensitivity can be expected after the treatment. Over-the-counter pain medication might help ease this discomfort. The tenderness should dissipate within a few days. Minor bleeding may occur during the first 48 hours. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (half of a teaspoon per 8 ounces of warm water) three times daily is recommended to help ease inflammation. We always recommend that you quit smoking, and it should be avoided entirely for the first week after your scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) because it may impair the healing of your gum tissue.
As your gums heal and inflammation is reduced, there may be some recession of the tissue resulting in areas of root surface exposure. This may lead to cold or touch sensitivity. Your hygienist will recommend treatment for you to help reduce this sensitivity.
It is important to keep up with your home care of brushing and flossing. The next day and the following week gradually start flossing and using any other interdental aids your hygienist has recommended. Removing the bacterial plaque daily should aid the healing of your gums.
Give us a call if bleeding, sensitivity, or tenderness increases or continues beyond 3 or 4 days, or if you have any questions or concerns.
- Deep Sedation & Anesthesia
1. After dental sedation, you may be drowsy for the remainder of the day and should be relaxing at home in the care of a responsible adult until you are fully alert.
2. Do not drive a car or operate machinery for at least 18 hours, or longer if drowsiness or dizziness persists.
3. Replenish your energy by having something to eat or drink as soon as possible.
4. Do not drink alcoholic beverages for a minimum of 18 hours after the procedure.
5. Do not sign any important or legal documents for 24 hours.
6. If there are any questions or concerns, contact the dental office. In case of an emergency, you should go to the nearest emergency room.