Post-Op Instructions of Heritage Dental

Family Dentist in Pottstown PA

Crown and Bridge

Following your first appointment for a crown or bridge procedure, a temporary restoration is placed on the tooth or teeth involved to protect them while the custom restoration is being made. Temporary crowns are of universal size and shade and serve a cosmetic function for the front teeth. Your final restoration will be shaped and shaded to match your other teeth in both color and function.

You may experience some discomfort along the gum line for a few days after your first appointment and you may also have some sensitivity to cold or pressure. This will usually subside in a few days. Please feel free to call us if you have any questions or concerns.

If your temporary restorations come off between appointments, please call us.

We recommend you properly brush and floss. This will help retain your final restoration.

If you have any additional questions, please call our office.


Root Canal

Endodontic treatment may be completed in 1, 2 or 3 appointments.

You may experience some discomfort after your visit because root canal treatment can leave the bone and gum tissue irritated in the area that was treated. You may also experience some sensitivity to hot and/or cold, sensitivity to pressure, or even some slight swelling. All of these feelings are normal.

If you were given pain medication by the doctor, please take it as soon as possible to help relieve this discomfort.

Please call our office if you experience more swelling, bleeding, or if the pain gets worse rather than better after a few days. Also call if the tooth hurts to bite down after a few days or if the temporary filling falls out.

During endodontic treatment, the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This may cause the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracturing. We recommend in many cases, a full coverage crown restoration (cap) be placed on the tooth to prevent this from happening.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.



Bleeding – After an extraction, a gauze pack is placed over the site to control excessive bleeding and to promote the formation of the blood clot. Keep pressure on the gauze for 30-45 minutes and replace the gauze if bleeding continues. Slight bleeding may occur for up to 2 days. Avoid activities such as smoking or sucking through a straw because these may dislodge the clot.

Rinsing – Do not rinse your mouth on the day of the procedure. The day after the extraction, rinse your mouth gently with a glass of warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon of salt. You can do this 3-4 times a day, especially after meals, for 3 days.

Swelling – Following an extraction, some swelling and skin bruising may occur. Applying a cold moist cloth or ice bag to the cheek will help minimize swelling. Place it on the affected area for about 15-20 minutes every hour for the next 6 hours.

Medications – In most cases a non-aspirin pain medication, such as 2 tablets of ibuprofen or 2 extra strength acetaminophen tablets will relieve any discomfort you experience. If the doctor gave you a prescription for a stronger medication you should take it if the over the counter medication is not controlling your pain. Be sure to use all medications as directed.

Food – A light diet with plenty of fluids is recommended on the day of the extraction. Please avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the tooth was extracted.

Oral Hygiene – Continue brushing and flossing. Be extra gentle around the extraction site.

Bone chips – During the healing process, you may notice small bony fragments working their way through your gums. These usually fall out by themselves or we can easily remove them if they are too bothersome.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.


Fillings & Restorations

Amalgam fillings – Do not bite together hard or eat on fresh amalgam fillings for 2 to 3 hours.

Composite fillings or tooth colored fillings are light cured restorations and set up immediately so that you can eat as soon as the local anesthetic wears off.

Children should be very carefully supervised until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of being numb, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue. This can cause serious damage.

Sometimes fillings are sensitive, especially to cold. This is usually most noticeable the first 12 to 24 hours after the anesthetic or numbness wears off. It is also not uncommon for this sensitivity to last for 3 to 6 weeks following the dental restoration but it will gradually disappear. Usually, the deeper the cavity the more sensitive the tooth will be.

Because the gum tissue may have been irritated during the procedure, it may be sore for a few days. You may also experience some discomfort at the anesthetic injection site.

The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days.

If you have any further questions, please contact our office.


Periodontal Treatment

Over-the-counter pain medication works very well for any discomfort you may experience.

We recommend two 200mg tablets of ibuprofen (400mg) or two extra strength acetaminophen tablets.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water the first day to help remove any bacteria that is present.

Avoid eating crunchy, spicy, or hot foods (ie: taco chips, carrots or crispy fried chicken) the day of treatment.

If your gums are sore or tender, rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp. salt in 1 cup warm water).

Even if your gums are tender, brush gently on the day of the procedure to help remove any plaque that has started to reform. Always use fluoridated toothpaste.

Immediately following the treatment, if there is too much sensitivity, you don’t need to floss or use any home care aids. However, beginning on the second day, it is important that you floss each day.

Follow all of our home care instructions exactly as directed. Success of treatment depends directly on the improvement of your oral hygiene.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.