Post-Op Instructions

Your Birmingham Family Dentist

Extraction Post-Op Instructions

Gauze/Bleeding: Remove the gauze compress in one hour. This is placed to help stop the bleeding. Some oozing of blood may occur the day of surgery. Instead of spitting or swallowing the blood, place a fresh rolled piece of gauze over the socket and close mouth tight for one hour. Ice may be applied to the side of the face. Head elevation is also very important. If these measures do not succeed, please call the office.

Medication: If you were prescribed an antibiotic, it is important to take as directed and to take it in its entirety. If you were prescribed pain medication, begin taking it an hour or two after surgery. Never take pain medication on an empty stomach. If you develop itching, a rash or difficulty breathing, please call the office.

Diet: Begin with cool liquids (juice [avoid citrus products], coke, or liquid nutrition supplements). Avoid straws as the sucking action may dislodge the blood clot trying to form. Soft foods such as Jell-O, pudding, custard, or soups may be introduced a few hours later. Avoid foods that could become impacted in the socket, for example: corn, barbeque, chips, etc. Keep taking nourishment and try not to skip a meal as this could greatly affect the healing process.

Rinses: Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery. After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with a glass of warm water using a teaspoon of salt. Repeat after meals or as often as directed. Please continue normal tooth brushing/oral hygiene. However, be extra gentle around the surgical site.

Swelling: Swelling of some extent follows nearly every tooth extraction. This is the body’s way of beginning the healing process. Following the removal of impacted teeth or trimming of the bone, swelling is often quite severe. It is mainly prominent on the 2nd or 3rd day and then begins to slowly subside. We usually recommend cold packs the first 24 hours and a low heat thereafter. Head elevation is also recommended the first two days. If you develop a fever or progressive swelling and/or drainage after the third day, please call our office. Stiffness of the jaw is also the body’s way of splinting and resting the part that needs to be repaired and usually relaxes between the 4th and 6th day. This will gradually disappear in 7-10 days. If stiffness or soreness of the jaw persists, a soft food diet should be maintained to rest the joint area. Warm, moist wash cloths or a heating pad on low will provide comfort.

Smoking: Smoking MUST be avoided post-operatively until the healing phase has completed. Smoking and smokeless tobacco may delay or prevent the formation of a blood clot, thus predisposing the patient to dry socket. This can be a very painful and frustrating experience for the patient.

For any additional post-operation information, contact Cosgrove Dental Care today.


Instructions following Endodontic Treatment

Your tooth and its surrounding tissues may be somewhat sore for several days, due to the previous condition of the tooth – and the manipulation within the root canal during treatment. This is a normal reaction and is no cause for alarm. The following suggestions should be helpful for you:

  • If you have been prescribed a pain medicine, take it every 4 hours as needed. 800 mg of ibuprofen – (4) 200 mg Advil – is a suitable substitute or 1000 mg of Tylenol.
  • If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, it is very important that you take them. Never stop taking them after a few days simply because you are feeling better.
  • After treatment, it is normal for a thin layer of the temporary filling to be chewed away. Don’t feel alarmed if you feel some missing or if you experience a medicinal taste.
  • Should you develop swelling or discomfort which cannot be controlled, apply ice to the area NOT HEAT and call our office
  • Please remember if this is a “back” tooth (all teeth behind your “eye” teeth) a full coverage crown is usually recommended to protect your tooth from a non-repairable fracture.

These are suggestions. If your dentist has prescribed a different post-operation treatment, follow those instructions.

Office hours:
Mon 8:30am – 6:00pm
Tues 8:30am – 5:00pm
Wed 8:30am – 5:00pm
Thurs 8:30am – 5:00pm
Fri 8:30am – Noon

Office phone: (205) 967-4080


Guidelines For Your Temporary Crown

  • Try to eat on the side without the temporary as much as possible.
  • Please avoid sticky or chewy foods.
  • When flossing, let go of one side of the floss and pull it thru. Pulling up and out could loosen and dislodge the temporary crown.
  • If your temporary crown does come off please put it back on immediately or call our office as soon as possible. You may use toothpaste, Fixodent or an over-the-counter temporary crown cement. If you cannot get it back on properly or if it continues to come off please come back to our office right away so we may put it back on for you.

IMPORTANT  – If the temporary is not on the tooth, your teeth will shift and the permanent crown may not fit. If this happens we will have to make a new impression and a new temporary. This will delay your permanent crown another two weeks

These are to be used as guidelines. If your dentist has provided instructions, follow what was instructed.

Office hours:
Mon 8:30am – 6:00pm
Tues 8:30am – 5:00pm
Wed 8:30am – 5:00pm
Thurs 8:30am – 5:00pm
Fri 8:30am – Noon

Office phone: (205) 967-4080