Postoperative procedures

published December 5th, 2008

Please refer to this page for any information or questions you might have following your procedure.

Post Op information for restorative procedures

Following a procedure to restore your tooth – whether it be a filling, crown or bridge – you should realize that there is a certain amount of trauma/irritation that your nerve may encounter. This is usually a factor of the amount of decay and the size of the previous filling material. If you started with a cold sensitive tooth, post operative sensitivity may be more common. Following restoration of your tooth/teeth, you may experience some of the following:

  • Thermal sensitivity either cold and/or hot. This is not of much concern if the sensitivity only last for a few seconds.
  • Biting sensitivity. The most common cause of this is when the bite is a bit high. Sometimes it can be hard to duplicate the correct bite when you are still frozen.
  • Jaw pain and headaches. This is usually a sign that the bite is high and you are grinding/clenching on the new restoration(s)
  • Prolonged thermal sensitivity and/or throbbing pain. This may be a sign that the insult to the nerve was more than it could endure.

After a procedure, if you feel that the bite is not correct, we ask that you let us know within a week. If you ignore this sign, then you risk further trauma to your tooth as well as possible fracture of the new restoration.

Post Op information for root canal procedures

Following your root canal procedure, you should expect all thermal sensitivity for that tooth to disappear. For 95% of all root canal treated teeth, all symptoms should begin to disappear and subside within three days. 5% of root canal treated teeth will show postoperative sensitivity resulting in pain on biting as well as possible swelling. This may occur even in the event that the root canal procedure was entirely successful. We recommend you take a basic anti-inflammatory agent (we recommend advil/ibuprofin; 400mg every six hours) for up to two days, in order to greatly reduce postoperative discomfort. In the event that you are experiencing rapidly progressing pain and swelling after a root canal procedure, we recommend that you call your dentist as soon as possible. It is very likely that antibiotic therapy will be required at this point. Please have the phone number of your local pharmacy handy as the dentist will need this in order to phone in your prescription. Also, in the event that your call is after hours and your dentist is away from the office, please remind the dentist if you have any antibiotic allergies. Usually, the pharmacist will have this information on hand anyways.

It is important to note, that root canal treatment has a 98% success rate on the first treatment. Approximately 0.5% of root canal treated teeth will require extraction at some point. This is an inescapable statistic as with all other medical treatments.

Post OP information for extractions

After teeth have been extracted, you will be directed to place pressure over the extraction socket(s) with rolled gauzes provided to you. You must keep this pressure applied until bleeding stops. In the event, it continues, please place pressure on the socket using more gauze. If necessary, you may use tissue or a tea bag. During the healing process please note the following:

  • Avoid and sucking or spitting actions as the negative pressure can dislodge the newly formed clot. This is usually critical for the first three days.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks. Again, this is most useful for the first three to four days.
  • Listen to your body. Avoid the site as long as it is uncomfortable.
  • Clean the area by brushing the extraction site. As soon as you can, please remove all plaque and debris from the extraction site.

In the event that you experience discomfort, prolonged bleeding or swelling, it is important that you call our office (604.431.0431) as soon as possible.

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