Post-Op Instructions

Extractions | Fillings | Crowns & Bridges | Root Canal Treatment | Apicoectomy (Root Canal Surgery) | Teeth Cleaning/Deep Cleaning | Instructions Following Dental Work | Instructions Following Oral Surgery


After a tooth extraction, a blood clot usually forms in the extracted tooth's socket to stop bleeding and to protect the exposed jaw bone. If the clot becomes dislodged or does not form, the site is called a dry socket, which is usually painful. If you have a dry socket, please call our office immediately. Usually, a medicine will be placed in the dry socket by our doctor until the healing process can begin.

Pressure should be placed on the gauze pad that has been put over the extraction site for one hour. Applying pressure for this extended period of time should stop the bleeding. If not, contact your dentist immediately. You may experience some pain, bruising and swelling; ice and medication prescribed for you will help to minimize your discomfort.

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything hot on the day of your extraction.
  • Do not rinse your mouth.
  • Do not use a straw for drinking.
  • Do not drink carbonated beverages.
  • Do not brush the extraction site on the day of the surgery; you can gently resume your brushing and flossing the day after.
  • Do not vigorously exercise after the extraction.
  • Eat only soft foods for about two or three days.

Instructions for various surgical treatments will have some unique directions, which will be supplied to you at the time of your treatment. Call our office if you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain or swelling, or if you have any questions or concerns.


Several hours after your appointment, your lips and tongue may be numb because of the anesthetic used. Do not eat or drink a hot beverage until all the numbness has subsided so you do not accidentally bite your lip, tongue or cheek.

For a few days, the tooth with the filling will usually have heat, cold and pressure sensitivity. The injection sites for the anesthetic shots will also be sore. To alleviate the pain, we recommend taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin as directed on the bottle.

As with any procedure, if your pain or sensitivity persists, or if you have any questions, please call our office.

Crowns & Bridges

Usually it takes more than one appointment to give a patient a crown or bridge. At the first appointment, your mouth is anesthetized so our doctor can prepare and file down your teeth that need the restoration. While the permanent, custom crown or bridge is being made, our doctor will place a temporary crown or bridge in order to protect your teeth. After this first appointment, your lips and tongue will be numb because of the anesthetic used. Do not eat or drink a hot beverage until all the numbness has subsided so you do not accidentally bite your lip, tongue or cheek.

If your temporary crown falls off, please call our office immediately. Bring the temporary crown with you to the office, and we will re-place it on your tooth. To ensure the temporary crown stays on, do not eat sticky or hard foods or chew gum.

For a few days, the tooth with the temporary crown will have heat, cold and pressure sensitivity. These sensitivities should subside a few weeks after the permanent crown is placed. To alleviate the pain in the meantime, we recommend taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin as directed on the bottle.

As with any procedure, if your pain or sensitivity persists, or if you have any questions, please call our office.

Root Canal Treatment

After your root canal treatment, it will take time to repair the irritated and inflamed tissues that support your tooth in the jawbone. Your tooth will be tender to biting pressure for the first few weeks and you may notice a difference in biting for even a few months.

In order to reduce the inflammatory response and speed up the healing process, it is very helpful to take 600 mg. of Ibuprofen (i.e. 3 tabs of 200 mg. Advil, Motrin, or Ibuprofen) every four hours today, even if the tooth is not sore when the anesthetic wears off. Tomorrow, only take Ibuprofen if necessary. If you're unable to take Ibuprofen or NSAIDS, then substitute two tabs of Tylenol or acetaminophen. Avoid chewing on the tooth until the tenderness is gone.

Your jaw muscles will be sore from keeping your mouth open and the anesthetic injection site may also be sore. If swelling develops or pain increases, please contact our office.

Apicoectomy (Root Canal Surgery)

You should expect some soreness, discomfort and minor swelling for up to two days after the procedure. This should subside naturally. You should be able to return to normal activities like working and driving the day after the procedure.

  • If you are prescribed medication, be sure to take it exactly as prescribed.
  • Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth has subsided.
  • Do not eat on the side of the mouth that has had a root canal until a permanent restoration can be put in, and only eat soft foods for at least the first day after your procedure.
  • For discomfort, you can take aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as recommended if you need to. If this is insufficient, you can take pain medicine as prescribed by our office. Warm salt water rinses will also help alleviate discomfort: simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt into warm water and rinse. You may use this rinse as often as you want.
  • Be sure to continue brushing and flossing as normal, but be very careful when brushing around the area that has had a root canal.
  • If you experience any problems, swelling or allergic reactions, contact our office immediately.

Teeth Cleaning (Deep Cleaning)

You may experience some cold and heat sensitivity after a deep cleaning. Continue your regular brushing and flossing habits after cleanings. If you experience any excessive bleeding, contact us immediately. Call our office if you have any questions.

Instructions Following Dental Work

Numbness: To begin with, you're numb, which can be an unusual sensation for anyone. It is completely normal for the numbness to last for several hours after the procedure. So if you don't begin to lose that numb feeling right away, don't worry, you will. In the meantime, it would be a good idea to take 1 or 2 ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The medication will do two things: first, it will assist in the healing of the tooth and the area where you had the injection. Second, it will help the normal post-op soreness following your treatment.

Tooth Soreness & Pain: Everyone's teeth and gums are different, just like each of us is different. Our bodies' response can be different from our families or friends, so if someone tells you it will really hurt when the numbness wears off, don't be too quick to believe them. You may have absolutely no problems or soreness because you are not exactly like them. It is more realistic to expect discomfort following any type of procedure, especially after a procedure which requires anesthetic.

Teeth are small, so if you think about it, what may seem like a little drilling on the tooth is in fact similar to a major surgery. It could take days or sometimes weeks for a tooth to heal. If you are having pain or discomfort a day or two after treatment, it does not necessarily mean something is wrong.

The following are some signs or symptoms that something may be wrong and you should call our office:

  • The tooth feels "high" or "too tall" when you bite together.
  • It hurts to touch the tooth, even with your tongue.
  • The tooth is sensitive to hot (not cold), and or wakes you up at night throbbing.

Any symptoms other than these means things are probably normal and will just take a little more time for the tooth and gums to heal. Feel free to call our office if you are unsure.

Gum Soreness & Pain: The gums may be sore for a few reasons. It could be from the injection of anesthetic or that Dr. Sjogren had to go just beneath the gumline to reach some decay. It could be that the restoration of your tooth required the gums to be altered or small portions removed in order for the restoration to function properly. In any event, your gums can be mildly uncomfortable for a day or so. If the discomfort persists or becomes painful, you may be developing a canker sore. If you see a canker sore (small white or red area on the gums), it is best if treated as soon as possible. Most drugstores carry medications to treat canker sores. Please call our office at (913) 469-8019 if you have any questions.

Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Bleeding: Normal oozing may occur for up to 24 hours or more following surgery. You will leave our office with a moist gauze pad over the extraction site. Keep it in your mouth for one hour. Upon removing gauze, if bright red blood is coming from the site, place another moist gauze pad in place and bite down with pressure. If, upon removing, bleeding has slowed down to an orange/yellowish discharge, do not place another gauze pad. This could cause the clot to become dislodged, resulting in a dry socket. If bleeding is brisk and fills the mouth quickly, call the office immediately at (913) 469-8019. After hours, you may be able to contact the emergency line at (785) 477-1951. Sometimes biting on moist tea bags helps control bleeding that is not brisk, but is continuing to lightly bleed.

Swelling: Swelling and sometimes bruising are common after surgery. The maximum swelling, pain and jaw stiffness normally occurs 2 or 3 days after surgery. Apply ice packs for 10 minutes on, then 10 minutes off until bedtime on the day of the surgery. This will keep swelling to a minimum. Keep your head elevated until bedtime. Moist heat after 36 hours may help jaw soreness.

Pain: The greatest amount of discomfort is in the first 6 to 8 hours after surgery. Never take pain medication on an empty stomach. Take one pain tablet immediately after you receive your prescription along with a glass of water and then another tablet one hour later. If itching or a rash develops, stop taking all medications and contact the office or emergency line. If a dull pain along with an earache increases on the third or fourth day, call the office to have it checked.

Muscle Soreness: Difficulty in opening the jaws is common after third molar extractions. Chewing gum at intervals will help with muscle soreness along with moist heat after 36 hours.

Mouth Care: The day after surgery, brush and floss as usual but avoid the surgical sites. The corners of your mouth may dry and crack so keep them moist with lip balm or Vaseline.

Diet: It is important to maintain good nutrition following surgery. Eat a lukewarm, soft diet the day of surgery. Eat whatever you can the day after surgery but stay away from hard, chewy foods and drink plenty of liquids.

Infection: Infection following surgery is rare, but if swelling and discomfort worsen after the fourth day, along with a foul taste, fever and difficulty swallowing, contact the office or emergency line immediately.