Post-Op Instructions

The following information is provided as a service for our patients after the competition of a procedure at our office. This information describes the typical Post-op experience for most patients. If you feel you are experiencing a complication please call us at 609-924-0936.


A local anesthetic was used to thoroughly numb the area treated. This numbness normally effects the lips, teeth and tongue and may last for several hours after the procedure is completed. To avoid damage to your tongue and lips it is best to avoid any chewing until the numbness has worn off.

After a filling, it is normal to experience some sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure. You may also expect some soreness in your gums for several days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help to alleviate some of this discomfort and/or swelling.

How to rinse with salt:

  1. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water,
  2. Gently swish the water around the tooth and spit.

If the soreness or sensitivity lasts for more than a week, please call our office.

Fillings normally set completely immediately after they placed. Once the numbness in your lips, teeth and tongue wear off you should be able to chew as normal.

If your bite feels uneven, or if you have any questions or concerns about your new filling, be sure to give us a call.


If you feel you are experiencing an emergency, do not hesitate to call our office at 609-924-0936.

If you are in need of medication, please have the phone number of the pharmacy you use available when the doctor returns your call.

No prescriptions for medications will be phoned into a pharmacy after hours unless you are a patient of record in our office.


  • You can take over the counter, non-aspirin, pain medication for any discomfort you may have.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water today to remove any bacteria that is present.
  • Avoid eating crunchy, spicy or hot foods today i.e. chips, raw carrots, crispy fried chicken.
  • Rinse with warm salt water if your gums are sore and tender.
  • Brush gently today even if your gums are tender to help remove the plaque that has started to reform. Always use a gentle fluoridated tartar control toothpaste.
  • You don't have to floss or use any home care aids the day of your treatment if there is too much sensitivity. Starting the following day, do so daily.
  • Follow all of your home care instructions exactly as directed. Additionally, keep all scheduled hygiene appointments. These appointments are very important to the success of your treatment.

Crowns & Bridges

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. On the first appointment the teeth are prepared. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.

On rare occasions, temporary crowns come off. Call us if this happens and keep the temporary so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the proper fit of your final restoration that temporaries stay in place. If you are out of town and your temporary dislodges, you can put a small amount of Vaseline or Dent Temp (an over the counter dental adhesive available in most drug stores) in it and reseat it. This will hold it in place until you can get in and see us.

It's normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a tsp. of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit) to reduce pain and swelling. Use medication only as directed.

To help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (especially gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. It's important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully and remove the floss from the side to prevent removal of the temporary crown.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

Root Canal

  • Discomfort and swelling of the affected side may occur for 3 to 5 days. Tenderness when chewing may persist for up to a week.
  • Ibuprofen (i.e. Advil, Motrin) 400-800mg every 6 hours usually will provide sufficient pain relief. Be sure to take this with food. Additional medications will be prescribed if needed.
  • If a localized abscess is present, rinse with warm salt water to promote drainage (dissolve 1 tsp salt in 1 cup warm water).
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed for infection. All of this medication should be taken as directed unless an allergic reaction develops. If there are signs of an allergic reaction (i.e. rash, itching, unusual swelling), stop taking the medication immediately and call the dentist. If the reaction is severe (i.e. difficulty breathing), go the nearest Emergency Room.
  • NO ALCOHOLIC beverages should be consumed while taking these medications.
  • To avoid a fracture of the tooth, a crown should be placed as soon as possible. It is OK to wait 2-3 weeks to let tenderness diminish before proceeding with the crown.
  • During root canal treatment, the nerve, blood supply, and decayed tooth structure are removed. This results in the tooth becoming more prone to fracture. Be gentle with the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed. Stay away from foods that may break the temporary filling or the tooth (i.e. popcorn kernels, carrots, chips, all hard foods).


  • Protection of Blood Clot: Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze sponge that has been placed over the surgical area for at least one hour.
  • Do Not Rinse: Also don't use mouthwash for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours rinse with warm salt-water (1/2 teaspoon in 8 oz. of warm water) every 1 to 2 hours. Commercial mouthwashes are not to be used during the healing period.
  • Avoid: All excessive activity, don't pick at the surgical area, don't consume liquids through a straw, avoid alcoholic beverages and refrain from smoking until healing is well established.
  • Discomfort: Following dental surgery it is normal to experience some discomfort. If medication has been given or prescribed, take as directed.
  • Toothbrush: Carefully use your toothbrush in the area of the mouth not involved by the surgical procedures. A clean mouth heals faster!
  • Eating: Adequate food and fluid intake following surgery and/or general extractions is most important. If you find that eating your regular diet is too difficult you may need to eat softer foods such as soups and eggs. Nutritional foods are necessary for the healing process.
  • Sutures: If they were used, do not fail to return for their removal on the appointment date given.
  • Control of Swelling: Gently apply ice packs to the area for periods of 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off. This should continue for the first 24 hours ONLY.
  • Allergic Reactions: If you experience generalized rash, itching, etc. call the dentist.