HOME CARE


Following a dental treatment or surgery, taking care of oneself at home is very important.  Follow these instructions for home care; and as always do not hesitate to call or email us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Home Care

Numbness: Numbness usually lasts about 2 hours. Please do not chew anything or drink hot or cold liquids until your numbness is gone. Serious injury may occur otherwise.

Chewing: Do not chew on the treated tooth AT ALL until the treatment is finalized. (See “Finalizing Treatment”)

Temporary: If your temporary comes out, don’t worry. It’s not an emergency.

If it was only a temporary filling, most likely only a small surface layer came out. Verify this visually, and if so, ignore it. However, if the entire filling came out please call us.

If a temporary crown came out, gently clean it and place it back onto your tooth using a small amount of either one of the following temporary cements:

Fixodent (dental adhesive from any drugstore, or any other brand)
Fluoridated Toothpaste (it will hold the crown in until stronger cement is used)
Vaseline (also acts as a temporary cement in a crown)

Gently brush away any excess. If you were not successful with any of the above methods, call us or call your general dentist for an appointment to re-cement your temporary.

Since your tooth had root canal therapy, you will not feel any discomfort if a temporary falls out. However do not leave it out of your mouth. This can lead to difficulties with your permanent crown and can result in a contaminated root canal.
Discomfort: We expect slight discomfort following your treatment. Use medications as prescribed, or use your favorite brand of pain reliever if necessary. Ibuprofen (Advil / Motrin) tends to work best for dental pain. Ibuprofen also reduces inflammation and is usually recommended for healing even if you have no pain.

For gums: Rinse several times daily with warm salt water (about 1/2 teaspoon in 1 cup). Continue to brush the area gently. A clean mouth heals faster.

For muscles: During the first 24, ice packs every 20 minutes are best. During the 2nd day an onwards, alternating hot and cold packs every 20 minutes generally works best to loosen muscle tension. Also during the 2nd day and onwards, slowly chewing on a piece of sugarless gum using the side opposite to your treatment may help. Avoid hard foods such as raw vegetables and nuts.

For teeth: Be patient. Do not chew at all on the treated tooth. Call us if you have excessive pain.
Swelling: Occasionally, mild swelling follows treatment. Mild bruising may occur also. These effects often occur in the anesthetic location. Contact us if you experience excessive swelling or swelling in unusual locations.
Medications: Please follow the prescription instructions on your medication labels.
Finalizing Treatment: Root canal therapy brings your tooth one step closer to completion, but it is not complete yet. Your tooth now needs a final restoration such as a crown or filling, to protect the tooth from breakage and from contamination. This is done by your general dentist. If the final restoration is delayed, the tooth may break or become contaminated, requiring more treatment at additional cost.
Contact Us: Be sure to call us immediately upon any allergic reactions (such as rash, difficulty breathing, itching), fever, excessive swelling, or if you have any further questions or concerns at the appropriate contact number:

Studio City: (818) 980-0998.
Glendale: (818) 547-2804.

In case of emergency, please call your treating doctor directly. In case of extreme emergency, call 911, or visit a hospital emergency room.

PATIENTS RECEIVING IV-SEDATION or “SLEEP” ANESTHESIA should return home from the office immediately upon discharge. You may feel drowsy for a short period of time or for several hours. You should not operate any mechanical equipment or drive a motor vehicle for at least 12 hours.

Oral Hygiene and Care: Do not disturb the surgical area today. BITE DOWN firmly on the gauze packs that we have initially placed over the surgical area, making sure that they remain in place. DO NOT change them for the FIRST hour unless the bleeding is controlled. DO NOT drink with a straw and DO NOT rinse or brush your teeth vigorously or probe the area with your tongue, fingers, or any other object.

After the first 24 hours, you may brush your teeth gently, carefully avoiding the surgical site. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 72 hours, since it is detrimental to the healing process. Beginning the day after surgery, start rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse (1/2-tsp. salt with 1-cup water) 3-4 times a day for the next 2 weeks. It is imperative to keep your mouth clean, since an accumulation of food or debris may promote infection.

Steady Bleeding: Bleeding should not be severe. Biting down the first hour firmly will assist your pattern of bleeding. If bleeding persists, this may be due to the gauze pads being clenched between the teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgery site. Try repositioning new gauze and hold for 20-30 min. Other than the initial gauze, no gauze should be left in for more than 30 minutes at a time. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, substitute a moist caffeinated tea bag on the area for 20-30 minutes. Gauze is to be removed while eating, drinking or if bleeding has stopped. If bleeding becomes severe or continues for more than 24 hours, please call our office immediately.

Swelling or Bruising: Swelling is to be expected and usually reaches its maximum within 48 hours. To minimize swelling, cold packs, ice, or even frozen peas should be applied to the face adjacent to the surgical area by the jaw line. This should be applied for 20 minutes, then removed for 20 minutes during the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Try to rotate surgery sides. Bruising may also occur, but should disappear soon. After 48 hours you may switch and apply moist heat with a warm wash cloth to bring down swelling, 20 minutes on and off.

Diet: Introduction of foods and pain medications should be done gradually if I.V.-sedation was administered. Follow this protocol to minimize post operative vomiting: 1. Sleep for 1-2 hours when arriving home. 2. Awaken and drink a glass of water, wait 15 minutes. If no upset stomach occurs, then introduce cool liquids/soft foods and wait 15 minutes again. 4. If no upset stomach occurs, then take the pain medication as prescribed. Then check if more gauze is needed. After this introduction period, eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. It is advisable to confine the first day’s food intake to cool bland liquids or pureed or soft foods. Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seed or popcorn, which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days, you may progress to more solid foods. Proper nourishment aids in the healing process. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal diet as much as possible and follow your physician’s instructions regarding your insulin schedule.

Pain and Medications: Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. Take the pain medication prescribed as directed and according to the protocol listed in the “Diet” section above if I.V.-sedation or “sleep” anesthesia was administered. If the extraction(s) were performed with only local anesthesia, take the pain medication immediately. If you do not achieve adequate pain relief, you may supplement each pill with an analgesic such as ibuprofen (Advil / Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Taking the pain medication with soft food and a large volume of water will lessen any side effects of nausea or stomach upset.

If you were prescribed an antibiotic and are currently taking oral contraceptives, you should use an alternate method of birth control for the remainder of this cycle.

Contact Us: Be sure to call us immediately upon any allergic reactions (such as rash, difficulty breathing, itching), fever, excessive swelling, or if you have any further questions or concerns at the appropriate contact number:

Studio City: (818) 980-0998.
Glendale: (818) 547-2804.

In case of emergency, please call your treating doctor directly. In case of extreme emergency, call 911, or visit a hospital emergency room.

1. Do not be alarmed with any color changes or appearance of tissues following laser therapy. Tissues can be gray, yellow, red, blue, purple, “stringy,” and reflect a normal response to laser treatment.

2. Reduce activity for several hours following the surgery.

3. It is OK to rinse, spit, and wash your mouth today. Rinse as directed with the medication that is prescribed for you. In between it is OK to rinse gently every three hours with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8oz. glass of warm water). Do not chew on the side of your mouth which has been treated.

4. Do not eat spicy or excessively hot foods.

5. Try to keep your mouth as clean as possible in order to help the healing process. In the treated area brush the teeth by placing the bristles of the brush on the gums below the tooth and carefully roll the bristles toward the tooth surface. Do not stick the bristle into the gums. Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth. During the first day drink liquids only. A liquid dietary supplement may be recommended. When flossing, carefully place the floss between the teeth and avoid pushing the floss under the gums until instructed to do so.

6. During this week, eat only soft foods. Do not chew where the surgery was performed.

7. Brush normally in the untreated areas.

8. Do not apply excessive tongue or cheek pressure to the treated area.

9. Do not be alarmed if any of the following occur:
– Light bleeding
– Slight swelling
– Some soreness, tenderness, or tooth sensitivity
– Medicinal taste from mouth rinse

10. The surgical pack may be placed on the area to prevent food, trauma and/or smoke from irritating the treated tissues. If a piece of the pack falls out or if the entire pack loosens or falls out do not be alarmed.

11. Swelling may possibly occur. To keep this at a minimum, gently place an ice pack on the outside of the face for 20 minutes each hour until you retire for sleep that night. Do not continue using the ice bag beyond the day of the periodontal surgery.

12. Some oozing of blood may occur and will appear to be greatly exaggerated when it dissolves in saliva. Determine the side of oozing and place pressure on this area. If you cannot locate the origin of the bleeding, rinse your mouth gently with iced water and apply a moist tea bag to the general area. If excessive bleeding continues, please call the office.

13. It is very important to maintain a good food and fluid intake. Try to eat soft but nutritious food such as room-temperature soups, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, malts, ice cream, etc. until you can comfortably return to a normal diet.

14. If medication has been prescribed, please take it exactly as directed.

15. Please call the office so that we may render further treatment if any of the following occur:
– Prolonged or severe pain
– Prolonged or excessive bleeding
– Considerably elevated or persistent temperature

16. Do not be alarmed that beginning with just 2 weeks after therapy and extending as long as 1 year or more, the teeth may become sore, tender, or sensitive as the bone and ligaments around the teeth regenerate and become more firm. This is a sign of healing, but also indicates the presence of a bite imbalance that needs to be adjusted.

17. Be sure to call us immediately upon any allergic reactions (such as rash, difficulty breathing, itching), fever, excessive swelling, or if you have any further questions or concerns:

Studio City DSC: (818) 980-0998.
Glendale DSC: (818) 547-2804.

In case of emergency, please call your treating doctor directly. In case of extreme emergency, call 911, or visit a hospital emergency room.