Post-Op Instructions

Postoperative instructions in Silver Spring, Md.

If you need to have a dental procedure, you know you can count on Dr. Allen Gotora and the staff at Stellar Dental to give you expert treatment and to provide you with the best of care.

But Dr. Gotora and the team at Stellar Dental also want to make sure that you are taken care of after you leave the office and go home. Here are some of the oral surgery procedures performed at Stellar Dental, and tips on how you can take care of yourself as you recover from your procedure.

Dental implants

If you are missing a tooth, Dr. Gotora may recommend a dental implant. Patients love dental implants because they look and feel like real teeth.

Getting a dental implant does require surgery. An incision is made into the gums and a titanium post (or posts) is installed in the jawbone. In time, the post fuses with the bone. When the two are fused tightly, Dr. Gotora will place an abutment on the post, which is the base of the new tooth. Then, he will place the false tooth.

Most patients report that having the surgery to place the post is relatively painless. However, there are some things you should know about the postoperative period.

After your dental implant surgery, you should try to rest for 48 to 72 hours. Make sure you eat something, but chew on the side opposite the implant and stick to soft foods. You might have some bleeding for about two days after the surgery, but it should not be excessive. Call Dr. Gotora if it doesn’t stop. On the day of the surgery, avoid touching the wound, rinsing and spitting.

Root canal therapy

Illustration showing a root canal procedure

Illustration showing a root canal procedure

Root canals aren’t as painful as you might think plus, when the procedure is over your tooth will feel much better! A root canal procedure is done when the soft pulp inside the tooth is infected and needs to be cleaned.

When the procedure is finished, your tooth and the gums around it will be sore. Dr. Gotora may give you a prescription for antibiotics. Make sure you take all of this medication as directed. Avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the root canal was performed.

If you have a bad reaction to the antibiotic, if you should call Stellar Dental right away. You should also call if you notice an increasing amount of tenderness or pain or if you lose the filling that Dr. Gotora will place after the root canal.

Scaling and root planing

If you have gum disease, Dr. Gotora may recommend a scaling and root planing, two different procedures that are done at the same time. Scaling removes bacteria and tartar from the surface of the teeth and below the gumline; planing cleans and smooths the roots of the tooth to make it harder for bacteria to adhere to the root.

After these procedures, your gums may be sore and a bit irritated. You can try a cold compress on the outside of the cheek and over-the-counter pain relievers. It may help to rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day. Eat soft foods for a few days. Return to your normal brushing and flossing routine as soon as you can, but floss and brush gently at first. If you still have pain and swelling a few days after your scaling and planing, contact Stellar Dental.

Extractions

Extractions-01There may be a few reasons why you need a tooth extracted. A common reason that wisdom teeth need to be extracted is because they emerge from the gums in the wrong position. This can happen with other teeth as well.

Teeth may be loose because of gum disease or so damaged that they can’t be repaired and so they have to be extracted.

After your tooth extraction procedure, you should rest. When you lie down, your head should be slightly raised. Stick to soft foods for a few days after the extraction. Your dentist may give you pain medication, or you can try an over-the-counter painkiller. You can use an ice pack on the outside of the cheek for pain as well. The extraction site will bleed for a while after the procedure, but if it bleeds for more than 24 hours you should call Dr. Gotora.

Ridge augmentation and bone grafting

If you need a dental implant, you need a strong jawbone to hold the implant in place. If for some reason you don’t have a strong jawbone, Dr. Gotora may recommend a ridge augmentation or a bone graft.

In a ridge augmentation, the gum is lifted to expose the weak area of the bone, and this area is filled in with a bone-like substance to strengthen the jaw. In a bone graft, a piece of bone is removed from another part of the patient’s body and placed in the jaw.

After the procedure, you may be prescribed antibiotics and medication for pain. You should limit physical activity for two to three days. Don’t eat anything until the anesthesia wears off or you might bite your lips, tongue or cheek. If you have swelling, use an ice pack on the outside of the cheek for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Keep your head slightly elevated to reduce swelling. Stick to soft foods, and chew on the side opposite to that of the surgical site.

If you still have major swelling or if you are still bleeding after two days, call Dr. Gotora.

 

If you have any questions about your recovery period, feel free to give Dr. Gotora and the team at Stellar Dental a call! Stellar Dental has two convenient locations, in Silver Spring and Hyattsville. The number is (301) 754-1900.