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Dental Post Operative Instructions

What to Expect After Oral Surgery

As a rule of thumb, you always should wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the anesthesia subside. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage since you will not yet be able to feel all of your mouth. After your surgery, Dr. Roderick or one of the other team members will give you full instructions on how to recover properly from surgery.

Root Canal

Expect soreness for a few days following a root canal. Avoid chewing on the affected side of the mouth, and 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 filling, call Dr. Roderick immediately.

Veneers, Crowns and Bridges

Before you receive your permanent veneer, crown or bridge, you will receive a temporary restoration first. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so please be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently, and do not pull up on the tooth when flossing. Avoid consuming sticky or chewy foods while wearing the temporary restoration.

There may be some sensitivity and irritation, which is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm saltwater rinse (1 tsp. salt per 8 oz. water) helps, and taking an Advil® or Tylenol® for pain relief is admissible.

When the permanent veneer, crown or bridge is in place, it may feel awkward at the beginning. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and the restoration will feel like your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, contact Dr. Roderick. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. Brush and floss regularly.

Bonding or Tooth-Colored Fillings

After the anesthesia subsides, your teeth may be sensitive. Avoid hot or cold food and drinks for the first few days. Your treated teeth will feel as good as new after this initial sensitivity period. If sensitivity persists, it may be a sign of a nerve problem, and you should contact Dr. Roderick. Continue your normal hygiene plan.

Root Planing

After this procedure your gums may be sore and irritated for a few days. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater (1 tsp. salt per 8 oz. water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Continue brushing and flossing after the procedure, but brush gently. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area, 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.


A friend or family member should drive you home after the surgery, and you should rest after your surgery. Be sure not to recline flat on your back, but rather prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Expect the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Be sure to change the gauze covering the extraction site when soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours, call Dr. Roderick. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. If you become sore, take your prescribed medication as directed. You can use an ice pack for pain relief.

Recommended soft foods for post-surgery nutrition include:

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Ice cream
  • Thin soups
  • Other foods that do not require chewing

When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw, and refrain from smoking. Feel free to contact Dr. Roderick if you experience prolonged pain, bleeding or irritation.

Aesthetic Family Dentistry

26232 N. Tatum Boulevard,
Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85050
(480) 515-0404

If you're looking for a professional and highly trained dentist in the North Phoenix & Cave Creek area, you've come to the right place. Our amazing dental team is ready to take care of all your dental needs. We welcome patients from all over Phoenix, including the Cave Creek, North Scottsdale, Tatum Ridge, and Desert View Village neighborhoods. Some of our more popular dental services include: cosmetic dentistry, regular cleanings, exams, dental implants to take care of those missing teeth, teeth whitening for a brighter, whiter smile, and porcelain veneers for a more beautiful smile. Contact Aesthetic Family Dentistry to book your next appointment at our North Phoenix dental office today.