Post Operative Instructions


Following a tooth restoration/filling:

Your teeth may be sensitive to temperature and chewing, but this should subside within a few days to a few weeks.  Each patient will vary with the sensitivity they experience.  Over the counter Ibuprofen usually provides relief, and may be taken even before the anesthesia wears off.  Do not exceed 3000 milligrams in a 24 hour period.  If your sensitivity cannot be managed with ibuprofen, please contact the office.  Of course, only take ibuprofen as allowed according to your medical history (ie:  Ibuprofen should be avoided if you are taking blood thinners like Plavix and Coumadin).

It is usually best to wait to eat and or drink until the anesthesia was worn off to prevent biting oneself or staining one's clothes!

If your bite feels "high" after the anesthetic wears off, please call the office for an adjustment.  Over time, a filling that is too high will cause inflammation of the ligaments around the tooth and cause it to become sore and temperature sensitive.  

Following a crown or veneer preparation and care of a temporary restoration:

Similar to having a filling done, your teeth may be sensitive to temperature and chewing.  See the above paragraph for ibuprofen use to mitigate discomfort. 

Your provisional is designed to integrate into your smile and bite, however it may feel slightly rougher than your natural teeth.  Your final restoration will be smoother. 

Also similar to a filling, if the bite feels "high" after the anesthetic wears off, please call the office for an adjustment.​

If the provisional becomes dislodged, please call the office to have it temporarily re-cemented.  If you are unable to come into the office, you can try to replace the temporary with over the counter temporary cement products (Dent-temp or Re-capit).  In a real pinch, you can use toothpaste or denture adhesive as well.  Be sure to practice replacing the provisional a couple of times before placing the temporary cement in the provisional!

It's important to keep your gums as healthy as possible between the preparation and cementation appointments.  Make sure you floss daily and use antiseptic rinses.  You can pull the floss through the teeth rather than pulling it up or down to avoid dislodging the provisional.  

After cementation of the final restoration, again, you may experience sensitivity, and if the bite is high, it will require adjustment.  Although the porcelain materials we utilize are very strong, they are still porcelain.  One should never open anything using your teeth or chew very hard things like ice or popcorn kernels.  We frequently recommend use of extra fluoride toothpaste to make the natural tooth at the edge of the restoration more decay resistant

Following a tooth extraction:


Bleeding after surgery may continue for several hours. The best way to stop bleeding is to fold 2 pieces of damp gauze over the extraction site and gently bite for 30-60 minutes making sure pressure is being applied to the extraction site. Rest quietly with your head elevated. If bleeding continues, use gauze for an additional 30 minutes. Bleeding should always be evaluated by looking directly at the surgical site. Pink or blood-tinged saliva may be seen for 2-3 days following the surgery and does not indicate a problem.  Compressing the extraction with a wet tea bag can also help slow and stop the bleeding (not herbal tea, maybe try Lipton tea?!)  We will provide you with gauze to take home.


Swelling is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and healing. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its peak for 2-3 days. After this time, the swelling should decrease but may persist for 7-10 days.
Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Apply the ice packs to the outside of the face 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off while awake for the first 24 hours. After 48 hours, begin use of a warm, moist compress to the cheek.


Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. If you do not have an allergy to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) we recommend taking this prior to the local anesthetic wearing off. More severe pain may require a narcotic pain medication.  Dr. Lipton will consult with you regarding the use of any narcotic.  Once you feel like you can stop the narcotic, use Ibuprofen or Tylenol. All medications should not exceed the recommended dosage.

*NOTE: If you are taking Plavix or Coumadin, do NOT take Ibuprofen or Aspirin products.

Discomfort should subside daily. If not, please call our office.

Dry Sockets:

If a dry socket occurs (loss of blood clot from socket) there is constant pain that may radiate to other areas including ear, jaw, and teeth. Symptoms of a dry socket do not typically occur until the 5th to 7th day after the procedure. If you do not have improvement during the first few days following the procedure, call the office. A medicated dressing may be placed if the medications taken by mouth do not resolve the discomfort.

To help prevent a dry socket avoid vigorous rinsing, sucking on the wound, spitting, using a straw, smoking and exercising for 2-3 days after procedure. You may gently rinse your mouth with a dilute mouth rinse of your choice after one day.


For the first day after extraction, patients should avoid hot liquids or hard foods. Gradually patients can progress to more solid foods, chewing away from the extraction site. Patients should avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the socket area.

Fainting precaution:

If you suddenly sit or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy, especially if you have not eaten or have had limited fluids. Therefore, immediately following surgery, if you are lying down, make sure to sit for at least one full minute before standing.

Oral Hygiene:

The best way to prevent infection and ensure healing is to keep your mouth clean. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste after meals and at bedtime. Should bleeding resume after brushing, repeat the use of gauze as described above. Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery.


For the first 48 hours you should rest and relax with no physical activity. After 48 hours, you may resume activity as tolerated.


Bad breath is common and will disappear as healing occurs. Two to three days following surgery, white, possible hard tissue may be seen in the surgical site. This signifies normal, healing tissue. Complete healing of the extraction site may take 6-8 weeks.

Sutures/Stitches/Hemostatic Packing:

Sutures and/or hemostatic packing will resorb or fall out on their own. It is normal for a suture to come out on the day of surgery. If bleeding occurs because the sutures have fallen out, bite on gauze to apply pressure as described above.


If an antibiotic is prescribed, take the tablets as directed. Take the entire prescription until gone.  Make sure to call the office if a rash or other unfavorable reaction occurs.