Post-Op Instructions

What Should I Do After Oral Surgery?

It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the anesthesia wear off. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your surgery the doctor or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from surgery.

Some Things You May Experience

  • The Surgical Area Will Swell

  • You May Have a Slight Ear Ache

  • A Sore Throat May Develop

  • Other Teeth May Ache Temporarily

  • Your Sutures May Come Out - This is Alright

Important Instructions for the First Hour

Pain Medication

If instructed by your surgeon, you should take over-the-counter Motrin or Advil, 2 tablets every 6 hours continuously for the first two days. The active generic ingredient is ibuprofen and you may find the store brand equally effective and less expensive. Take the first dose immediately and before the local anesthesia has worn off. You may use the prescription medication on top of and in-addition-to the Motrin/Advil tablets as needed.

Gauze Pressure

Bite down firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, make sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first 30 minutes unless the bleeding is heavy. After 30 minutes, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30 minutes. The gauze may then be changed as necessary (typically every 20 to 30 minutes). It is best to slightly moisten the gauze with tap water and loosely fluff for more comfortable positioning. Bleeding from oral surgery may take 24 hours to fully stop.

Protecting the Blood Clot

Do not rinse, smoke, or drink with a straw for at least 48 hours after your surgery. If you have been prescribed an antibiotic mouthwash, you may begin to use it gently at bedtime the night of your surgery.

More Post-Op Instructions

Root Canal Therapy

You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed so you do not irritate the area and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) call your dentist immediately.

Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.

When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.

White Composite Fillings (Bonding)

After the anesthesia wears off your teeth will likely be sensitive for a couple weeks  – that’s normal, don’t worry! You should avoid hot and cold food or drink for the next few days. After that initial period, your treated teeth will feel as good as new. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.

Scaling and Root Planing

After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days contact your dentist.

Extractions

After the surgery you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call the office & speak with the treating dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for pain and to decrease swelling. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:

  • Applesauce
  • Pudding
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Smoothies
  • Thin Soups
  • …and other food you can eat without chewing.

When drinking, make sure you do NOT use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking.  Smoking at any time inhibits would healing, decreases the body’s ability to heal the area effectively, and places the surgical site at risk.  If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly, please call the office & we would be happy to schedule a follow up with your treating dentist.

During the first 24-48 hours following oral surgery of any kind, it is extremely important to refrain from:

  • hot foods & drinks (sticking with foods & drinks at room temperature is ideal for the healing process)
  • exercising
  • spitting, rinsing, & sucking – all of this can slow the clotting process, or even break blood clotts already formed)
  • chewing gum
  • smoking (perfect time to quit!)
  • alcohol

What Our Happy Customers are Saying

Going to the dentist has always caused me anxiety, but not at Veenstra! The cleanings are fast and easy; and as for the fillings, I didn’t even feel the needle for the Novocain! All of the staff are so friendly and welcoming. I’ve never had to wait for an appt either! We see Dr. Eric and he’s the best!

Jen C.
Jen C.

Very friendly – Very professional. I recommend Dr. Eric without reservation.

Jeff W.
Jeff W.

The staff is very welcoming and friendly. Dr. Eric makes you feel at ease and the hygienists are outstanding! They cater to your needs/comfort and are very flexible with scheduling! I highly recommend!

Nicholas G.
Nicholas G.

ABSOLUTLEY AMAZING! I am so thrilled that Dr. Eric and his team were recommended! I have never felt more comfortable with a dentist; from the very first call to make an appointment the staff was helpful, friendly, and pleasant!

Alicia P.
Alicia P.

I’m a new patient and not normally a big fan of going to the dentist. However, I thought the hygienist (Nancy) and Dr. Eric did a SUPERB job during my dental appointment yesterday. Thank you so much … 🙂 !

George W.
George W.

Staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and they do a great job of accommodating people whom have had bad experiences in the past. Dr. Eric did an excellent job of explaining the process I was going through and why it needed to be done. His assistant went above and beyond explaining the condition I had and how to handle the recovery.

Ed P.
Ed P.

Why Choose Us?

  • Nice clean environment which is relaxing and also takes your mind off treatment.
  • The latest technology to offer the best treatment.
  • Imaging software to show what can be done to your smile before you have anything done.
  • Payment options to allow to spread the investment into affordable monthly payments

Meet Dr. Doug and Dr. Eric Veenstra

Dr. Eric, the oldest of four children to Dr. Doug and Patti Veenstra, was born and raised in Wyckoff, New Jersey.He graduated Eastern Christian HS in 1999, Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) in 2003, and UMDNJ (currently Rutgers Dental School) in 2007. Following graduation from Dental School, Dr. Eric joined his father, Dr. Doug, in his practice in Midland Park, NJ that was originally established in 1981. They have loved working together and feel blessed to continually grow in their service to the community where they’ve been for over 35 years.

Dr. Eric values providing the best treatment and the best experience for his patients. and that has led him to pursue hundreds of hours in advanced dental education. He specifically focused his education for several years to implant dentistry when he saw a need in his practice to give his patients the best treatment options available. He completed an externship from NYU Implant Continuum in 2010, an externship from the Misch International Implant Institute in 2012, and an AAID Maxicourse in Implant Studies from Rutgers University in 2015.

In 2013, he married his beautiful wife Kimberly and has since had two precious little girls: Madelyn and Dorothy, whom he couldn’t love more! He loves the time he gets to spend with his ‘Girls’ as well as enjoying sports, music, food and being surrounded by friends and family. Over the years he has coached children soccer teams, volunteered his dental abilities on mission trips to Honduras and Africa, and has always been involved with his church.

Dr. Eric truly enjoys taking the time to get to know his patients, considers them friends, and feels blessed to be able to care for them.

Veenstra Family Dental

Making Your Smile a Work of Art!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Call Us at (201) 447-0300