Post-Care Instructions


Home care, following an office procedure, is important to ensure a smooth recovery. In order to decrease discomfort and recovery time, please read and follow the instructions below.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office directly 620-792-4205.

Extractions and Oral Surgery


Bite firmly on a sterile gauze pad for 1-½ hours.  If bleeding has not stopped or decreased considerably use a fresh gauze (that you were given) for an additional 30 minutes.  If bleeding should recur or persist – bite down on a gauze pad that has been dipped in ice water and squeezed out or on a wet tea bag.  (The tannic acid in tea aids in clotting.)  Do not go to sleep with gauze in your mouth, as you could swallow it.  Bleeding will occur and mix with saliva for the first 6-7 hours, up to 24 hours.  This is not unusual and will correct itself.



Some discomfort may be experienced following oral surgical procedures.  Over-the-counter Tylenol or Advil (or any analgesic) will usually relieve the discomfort.  If greater discomfort is anticipated, a prescription will be given.



Do not rinse your mouth today.  The next day, use a warm salt-water rinse (1 tsp salt per 8 oz warm water) every 6 hours to cleanse the affected area.  If you have had all of your teeth removed – do cleanse the mouth and use gauze or washcloth to clean your tongue and roof of your mouth.  Keeping your mouth clean will aid in the healing process.



Some mild swelling of the jaw may be noticed.  Do not be alarmed. This is a normal reaction.  If more than mild swelling is present, call your doctor at 620-792-4205.



Do not eat until the numbness is gone.  Depending on your surgical procedure, soft food may be desirable following your visit.  Avoid sharp foods like chips.  Chew solid food on the opposite side of the mouth for 24 hours.   Do not go without nourishment.  Drink plenty of water, milk, juices, as they will help in the healing process.


Please do not:

Spit, use a straw, drink alcohol, smoke or use smokeless tobacco for 24 hours.  This gives the tissue time to heal and helps with clot formation.  Do not use mouthwashes such as Scope or Listerine for 2 weeks.


Rest as much as possible

Immediate Dentures

Biting down to apply pressure on the denture will promote clotting and will decrease the initial flow of blood.


Swelling: ​

Use ice compression if there is swelling, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours.


Limit your diet to soft, nurturing foods and plenty of fluids.  Be patient, it takes time to heal and to learn how to chew with your new denture.

Day After Procedure:

Don’t take your denture out the first day.  It keeps the swelling down.  You can rinse gently before you go to bed with warm salt water.  Put a teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. The doctor will remove the denture the day after and will make any adjustments then.  Remember the denture will not fit until you are completely healed.  There will be a lot of shrinkage in the tissue over the next 6 months.

Week After Procedure: 

Sleep with the denture in your mouth for the next week. After that, take the denture out at night to let the tissue rest. Due to the shrinkage, the denture will become loose and a temporary liner will need to be placed.  Denture adhesives can be used at this time also. You may experience sore spots caused by the denture being too long or from uneven pressure form due to healing gum tissue.  We can adjust the denture as these problems occur.​


Children's Procedures

A local anesthetic was used to make the area treated numb or “sleepy”.  Please be sure your child does not suck or chew on their lip, cheek or tongue.  It is best to wait until the area “wakes up” before eating, but if this is not possible, have your child be extremely careful and chew on the opposite side of their mouth.  This more of a problem when the lower teeth have been treated.    The anesthesia wears off about 2 to 3 hours after treatment.  Children remain positive about dental care when their parents and siblings do. We ask that you remind your child that they have received the care that they need!


Tooth Extracted: 

We would like your child to bite on a folded piece of gauze until the bleeding stops.  This is usually about 10 to 20 minutes following the procedure.  We will provide extra gauze so it can be changed if necessary.  We prefer your child have soft foods for the remainder of the day.  Over-the-counter pain medications may be used such as children’s Tylenol.  Aspirin or Ibuprofen should not be given if there is a fever.  Normal cleaning of the teeth should be continued the next day.


Crowns Placed: 

The crown may extend below the gum tissue, which will contribute to tender gums.  Because of this the area may be sore after the numbness wears off.  There may be some redness for a day or two around the gum tissue.  The soreness is reduced if the area is kept clean.  The gum tissue in the treated area may remain tender and red for a day or two.  Continue brushing the area, keeping it clean.  Sticky candy may pull the crown off, so please avoid it.



Teeth that have been filled may be sensitive to temperature change for a few days to a few weeks.  This usually diminishes unless the cavity was very deep

Root Canals


After your treatment, you can expect mild to moderate discomfort. This discomfort is due to inflammation around the root of the tooth and is a normal part of the healing process. The symptoms will usually be a dull ache and sensitivity to chewing, biting, or touch, which may intensify during the first 3-4 days after treatment but should gradually decrease soon after. 


Minimize Discomfort:
The symptoms can be minimized by taking an anti-inflammatory medication soon after completion of the root canal treatment. The key is to take the medication regularly, as prescribed. Pain medication will probably be necessary and can be taken as needed.


Additional Information: 

Your bite may feel “off” for a few days but should return to normal after the inflammation subsides. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth habitually, the duration and degree of the discomfort may be intensified and last longer as the inflammation does not have an opportunity to subside due to the constant trauma on the tooth. Should the discomfort continue to intensify after one week, or not subside, it is important to call our office so further evaluation can be done.


Complications of treatment include, but are not limited to the following:

Irretrievably broken instruments in the canal

Inaccessible canals

Fracture of the root

Infection or chronic irritation of the bone

Damage to existing restorations

Non-healing lesions in the bone around the end of the tooth

Perforation of canal walls

Loss of existing tooth structure


Scaling and Root Planing


Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually associated with slight throbbing or aching and occasionally may be uncomfortable. This discomfort usually subsides in about four hours. Any discomfort due to brushing should get better in one to several days. Your gums may become “itchy” or uncomfortable and a couple of Advil should eliminate any discomfort. Swelling or jaw stiffness occur very rarely, however, if it does, apply warm, moist towels to the face in the area of the stiffness.


Sensitivity to temperature changes and/or sweets may temporarily occur. Removing all plaque from the tooth with a toothbrush or Q-Tip, placing a dab of sensitive toothpaste or fluoride toothpaste on the tooth should stop sensitivity within a few days. If tooth sensitivity persists, use desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensitive Crest or Aquafresh and avoid tartar control toothpaste. If a local anesthetic was used, avoid chewing foods until the feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue or cheeks. If the sensitivity is severe and prolonged, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required. The sensitivity to temperature may be intense the first several days and usually diminishes quickly.


Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings but the bleeding should steadily decrease after two or three days. If you have heavy non-stop bleeding contact the office.

Appearance: Root surfaces may be more exposed as the swelling of the inflamed gum tissue goes away. This may result in more space between the teeth.  Although this treatment is necessary, please understand that this is not a cure.

Diet & Eating:

If extensive root planing was performed, chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable. Avoid any hard foods such as potato chips, Fritos, popcorn, etc. for the next 3-4 days. This should last no longer than a few days. A diet of a softer consistency would be advised until chewing becomes more comfortable. Your first meal should be soft. The worse thing you could have is hot soup. No hot food or beverages for 2 days.

Oral Hygiene:

If gum tissues are tender, brush your teeth gently but thoroughly. By the third or fourth day, normal oral hygiene techniques can be resumed. Rinse your mouth 2-3 times per day with warm salt water - ¼ teaspoon of salt per 8oz of water, unless otherwise directed (you can add up to 1/3 teaspoon of peroxide). Use of rinses should be limited to one to two consecutive weeks.

Risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

Hot & cold sensitivity

Sweet sensitivity




Injection pain/numbness






Please do not smoke following scaling and root planing procedures. Tobacco smoke is an irritant to healing. Refrain from smoking for 48 hours.

Call Us: 620-792-4205

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Great Bend, Kansas   |   St. John, Kansas   |   Larned, Kansas

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