Post-op instructions after Srp’s

Scaling and root planning is a non-surgical periodontal treatment that involves removing tartar and bacterial plaque from the root surface below the gum line. This procedure reduces inflammation and infection and improves the depth of periodontal pockets, allowing you to more efficiently floss and brush your teeth.

For the first 24 hours following a scaling and root planning treatment, you may experience sensitivity to cold and heat. Do NOT:

  • Eat, drink, chew, or otherwise consume hot foods or beverages until the anesthetic used during your treatment has worn off.
  • Exercise vigorously for 24 hours.
  • Eat hot or spicy foods for at least 24 hours.
  • Consume alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours.
  • Smoke or use another tobacco produce for at least 48 hours.
  • If you are experiencing discomfort or pain, you can take mild pain relievers as needed. We recommend 200-400 mg ibuprofen or 325 mg acetaminophen every 6-8 hours. You may also use a warm saltwater rinse (approximately ½ teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of water) three times a day.
  • Brush and floss gently until soreness is gone, and then resume normal brushing and flossing.

Take all medications as prescribed by our periodontist or General Dentist, and follow all other instructions provided as closely as possible.

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Post-op instructions for Crown or Bridge

During your appointment today, we permanently cemented your new crown(s) or bridge. It may take a few days to get used to the new restoration.

You may experience some minor discomfort for the first few days following your treatment. An over-the-counter pain reliever/anti-inflammatory, such as Tylenol™, Advil™, Aleve™, is recommended for patients who are able to tolerate them. If discomfort increases or lasts more than 2-3 days, please call our office.

  • Hot and cold sensitivity is possible for a few weeks and occasionally will last for several months.
  • Your bite was carefully checked at your appointment. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call us immediately for a simple adjustment appointment. Do not overlook calling us, even if it appears that the bite is off slightly. This slight amount can make the tooth sensitive to pressure, hot, and cold, and also potentially cause pain in the neck, head, and jaw.

Although crowns and bridges are often the most durable of all restorations, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and crown (along the gum line). We recommend professional maintenance and evaluation at least twice a year. If you have had a periodontal problem (gum disease) in the past, you should see us a minimum of three times a year. Proper care of your new crown(s) or bridge includes brushing and flossing a minimum of twice daily and regulating your intake of sugar-containing food and drinks. Proper maintenance will not only prolong the life of the restoration, but will also help to prevent problems elsewhere in your mouth.

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Implant Post-Operative Instructions

A dental implant has been placed in your mouth. The implant may be located above or below the tissue. This type of implant has been selected for your particular situation because of the bone available to place an implant. The implant will usually take a period of one to four months to heal; depending upon your body’s healing properties and the type of implant surgery.

  • If IV sedation was used for your procedure, you cannot drive a car for the remainder of the day.
  • If sutures were placed around your implant, they will be removed and checked by your doctor in one to two weeks.
  • Usually you are able to wear your present partial or flipper, if applicable. Sometimes it is necessary to leave it in the night of the surgery. It is important to keep the appliance as clean as possible during the healing period. Please ask the doctor if you have any questions.

Every consideration must be given to keep the surgical site clean and free of food particles.

  • NO SMOKING! Smoking is to be avoided for the time specified by the doctor. Smoking increases the heat in the surgical site and significantly lowers the body’s ability to heal the site.
  • AVOID these after surgery: alcohol with post-operative medications, commercial mouth rinses and very hot fluids.
  • Gentle rinsing of the mouth should be started the day after surgery. Frequent gentle rinsing with lukewarm salt water will aid the healing process (add one half teaspoon of salt to a 6oz glass of water). Avoid the use of a water-pik tooth brush.
  • Pain: A certain amount of pain must be expected with all types of surgery. An appropriate pain medication has been prescribed for you. Please take it according to the directions. It is advised that you do not drive while taking the pain prescription. However, if only Ibuprofen or Tylenol is needed, most people are able to drive without a problem.
  • Swelling: Some swelling and minimal bruising is possible and is to be expected. IT IS NOT UNUSUAL. In most cases, swelling can be prevented/controlled. Apply the ice pack that has been given to you for a period of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the day for the next two days. The application of ice to the outside of the face over the surgical area will minimize swelling. If after five days you still have unusual swelling or pain, please call the office.
  • Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding following surgery should not alarm you. If the bleeding is excessive or continuous, please call us at once. Vigorous rinsing of the mouth prolongs bleeding by removing the clotting blood, so when rinsing your mouth, do it gently.
  • NO drinking through straws. The use of a straw creates negative pressure in your mouth and will tend to loosen the sutures.
  • Diet: Following surgery it is best to restrict your diet to fluids and soft foods for the first day. Normal diet may then be resumed the following day, but you will want to avoid chewing on the implant site until the tissue is completely healed. Soft foods such as Jell-O, pudding, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and soups are suggested. If you have difficulty chewing, try blenderized foods or diet supplements such as Carnation Instant breakfast and Ensure.
  • Implant Follow-Up: We will see you for the periodic check-ups until the implant has healed. This is usually for a period of one to four months, depending on your implant surgery.


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  • Though some of the root canal procedures we perform are completed in 1 appointment, root canal therapy may take more than 1 appointment to complete.
  • Since anesthetic has been used, parts of your mouth may be numb for several hours after the appointment.  Avoid chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has worn off.
  • Between appointments, a temporary filling is placed to protect the tooth. It is common (and not a problem) for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off.  If the entire filling falls out, please call our office and set up a time to come in and have it replaced.
  • It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal procedure.  To control discomfort, take any pain medication prescribed by the dentist as recommended.  If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them as directed, even if all signs and symptoms of infection are gone.  Taking ibuprofen before the numbness wears off can greatly reduce post-operative pain.
  • To protect the tooth and keep the temporary filling in place, avoid eating hard or sticky food (such as gum), and try to chew on the other side of your mouth.  Continue to brush and floss normally.  Usually, the last step in a root canal is the placement of a crown or permanent filling in the tooth.  A crown will protect the tooth from breaking in the future.
  • If you have signs of swelling or increasing pain, or if you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our office.

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Post-Operative Instructions for Periodontal Surgery


  • Bleeding:A little bleeding or “oozing” for the first 12-24 hours. Leave it alone as it is probably just minor.
  • Swelling:Some swelling and discoloration is normal following a surgical procedure in the mouth. It should reach its maximum in two-to-three days after surgery and should begin to diminish by the fifth post-operative day.
  • Discomfort:The most discomfort that you may experience may occur for a few hours after the sensation returns to your mouth. It may gradually increase again for 2-3 days, and then begin to diminish over the next few days.


  • Bleeding:Keep head elevated and rest. Do not suck or spit excessively. Do not pull your lip or cheek to look at the surgical site.
  • NOTE: Some “oozing” and discoloration of the saliva is normal. If bleeding is severe or persists, moisten gauze or a tea bag, wring out the excess water and place against the area from where the bleeding is coming from. Hold in place with moderate finger pressure for 20 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
  • Swelling:Place ice or cold compresses on the region of surgery (ten minutes on ten minutes off) for the first 8-12 hours.
  • NOTE: Ice bags or cold compresses should only be used on the day of surgery.
  • Smoking:Avoid smoking during the healing period (at least for 7 days, purchase the patch if necessary). It is recommended that you do not smoke for the first two weeks since smoking can interfere with the healing and make the results less predictable. If a bone graft was placed, it is recommended to quit for at least 6 weeks. Bone grafting results are not predictable in patients who continue to smoke.
  • Discomfort: Take medications as directed for PAIN. The Ibuprofen 800mg tablet prescribed can relieve mild-to moderate pain. For more severe pain, take other prescription pain medication as directed. Remember that these medications can take up to 30 minutes to one hour to take effect. If you are using any of these medications for the first time, exercise caution with the initial doses (start with ½ a pill).
  • Diet: A nutritious liquid or soft diet will be necessary for the first weeks after the surgery. Do your best to NOT eat on the side surgery was performed. Healing will occur in weekly increments; therefore, it is best to gradually (in weekly increments) return the diet and/or other mouth/oral activities back to normal.
  • Physical Activity: For the first 24 to 48 hours, one should REST. Patients who have sedation should refrain from driving an automobile or from engaging in any task that requires alertness for the next 24 hours.


  • Brushing – For the UNTREATED AREAS of your mouth, you may continue to brush and floss as you would normally. For the TREATED AREAS of your mouth, only brush the chewing surface or these teeth (avoid brushing the gums) with a manual toothbrush. Do not use an electric toothbrush at the surgical site for the first 4 weeks. Remember, the cleaner you keep the teeth the better it will heal.
  • Beginning 24 hours after the surgery, rinse with PRESCRIPTION MOUTHRINSE twice daily for 2 weeks. This will keep the treated area clean while you are not brushing.
  • If ANTIBIOTICS are prescribed, be SURE to take ALL that have been prescribed, AS DIRECTED.
  • Use WARM, MOIST HEAT on face for swelling, STARTING THE SECOND DAY OF RECOVERY. Continue until the swelling subsides. A warm, wet washcloth or heating pad will suffice.
  • SUTURES may dissolve or be removed at your follow-up appointment. DO NOT pull your lip or cheek to look at the surgical site. Avoid playing with the sutures with your tongue.

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