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Post-op instructions designed to help you minimize post-procedural discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.


  • You can eat as soon as your mouth regains feeling.

  • Before your anesthetic wears off completely, we recommend taking either 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen or Tylenol every 4-6 hours as needed. This will help manage your pain when the anesthetic wears off. Once the anesthetic wears off, you can continue this routine to manage your pain.

  • You may also experience some tooth sensitivity to temperature or when biting for a few days following your procedure. If it continues beyond a few days, please call our office.

  • Your gums may also be sore or irritated following the procedure. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend a warm salt water rinse: one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Swish this mixture around inside your mouth, over your gums, then spit.

  • If the anesthetic wears off and your bite feels uneven, give us a call. Dr. Lester can make adjustments to the temporary crown to keep your bite even.

Caring for your temporary crown

  • Avoid foods that are sticky, chewy, or hard.

  • Exercise caution when brushing or flossing around the temporary crown. Once your permanent crown is placed, you can resume normal brushing and flossing.


If your temporary crown becomes lost or damaged in any way, call our office immediately.


  • Please wait to eat or drink on the affected side until after the numbness has worn away.


  • Please do not chew or attempt to eat on the affected side while you are still numb.


  • Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before the numbness wears off may help maintain an acceptable comfort level.



  • Discomfort or soreness in the area is normal for a few days (or even weeks) and may range from mild to severe.


  • The gums may be sore and the tooth is often tender to biting or chewing. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Aspirin, Motrin, Excedrin, and Tylenol should relieve most of the discomfort.


  • Rinsing with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water) will also help.


Discomfort in the area is caused by existing infection and inflammation of the gum and tooth ligaments as well as the manipulation of the tooth during treatment and does not affect the successful outcome of treatment.



It's important to take the entire round of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor, even if you are feeling better. If you stop treatment before the antibiotic cycle is over, the remaining bacteria can continue to multiply. This can not only prolong the infection but also cause further damage.


Temporary Filling:

A temporary filling may have been placed in the entry made into your tooth. It is normal for a thin layer of the temporary filling to be chewed away between appointments. An unusual taste can be expected. Should all of the temporary filling come out, please give us a call. It’s important that your temporary filling stays intact until the placement of a permanent restoration.


Final Restorations: (if necessary)

If you have not yet made an appointment for your final restoration, please call us to schedule it immediately.


Endodontically treated teeth have been weakened by previous decay and fillings. It is necessary for these teeth to receive additional protection in the form of a cast restoration (onlay or crown). This will protect these teeth against future fracture and decay, and protect the root canal filling from possible contamination. Delay in obtaining a final restoration may result in fracture and/or possible loss of the tooth or require re-treatment or a root canal. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call our office for a consultation.


After your tooth extraction, you will need to allow your body to form a protective blood clot over the socket. To minimize discomfort and prevent elongating recovery time, you will need to avoid the following:

  • Brushing (for 8 hours)

  • Vigorous physical activity (48 hrs)

  • Drinking alcohol (48 hrs)

  • Hot or spicy foods (48 hrs)

  • Swishing liquids in your mouth (48 hrs)

  • Drinking through a straw or sucking (for 1 week)

  • Mouthwashes containing alcohol (1 week)

  • Using a rotary toothbrush (1 week)

  • Smoking (4 days if possible)

Caring for the Extraction Site

Bleeding: If you start bleeding, gently bite down on a gauze pad for at least 30 minutes. If the bleeding continues, continue for an additional 30 min. You can also use a tea bag in place of the gauze pad. If bleeding continues despite this, call our office for further instruction.

Swelling: You will likely experience some swelling after your extraction. Swelling usually peaks on the third day and then gets better from there. For the first two days, you can use ice for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. From day three on, you can use heat for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

Numbness: the local anesthetic used during your extraction will keep you numb several hours after surgery and can even cause residual numbness or tingling sensations that may last for a few days or weeks. While you are numb, be careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the affected area, as you can unknowingly cause damage.

Brushing/Rinsing: Avoid brushing your teeth within the first 8 hours of your extraction. When you begin brushing again, do so very gently and avoid the extraction site. You will also need to avoid rinsing within the first 24 hours after your extraction, and then begin rinsing very gently with a warm salt water rinse: one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Carefully swish this mixture around inside your mouth, then spit.

When can I eat?

You can begin eating as soon as you regain feeling in your mouth.

You will want to prevent crunchy food, toothpicks, eating utensils, or any sharp materials from entering the wound. You may also want to chew on the opposite side of your extraction site altogether.

What can I eat?

For the first two days, it is recommended to eat soft, cool foods. Foods that are excessively hot or spicy can irritate the extraction site and cause additional bleeding. It Is also important to avoid any foods that are hard or chewy and any foods that can become trapped in the extraction site, such as rice. Ideal foods include yogurt, scrambled eggs, applesauce, pudding, ice cream, steamed veggies, boneless fish, mashed potatoes, pasta, and cottage cheese.

Pain Management

After your extraction, some pain is to be expected. We recommend starting your pain medications before the anesthetic wears off.

If you have uncontrollable pain, excessive or severe bleeding, marked fever, excessive swelling three days after your extraction, or reactions to medications such as rash, itching, or breathing issues, please call our office: 714-532-6711


  • You can safely chew on your fillings as soon as your anesthesia wears off. This usually lasts a few hours.

  • Be aware that your teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages. Approach these with care.

  • Pay attention to your bite after the anesthesia wears off. If you feel like one of your fillings is hitting first (sometimes fillings may seem high or “taller” than other teeth), give us a call.

  • Some soreness in the gum tissue around the affected tooth (or teeth) is to be expected. If these symptoms continue for more than a day or you experience further pain or discomfort, give us a call.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily, and floss at least once daily, starting immediately.

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco can irritate the dental filling and increase the risk of an oral infection. Be sure to avoid these for about 12 hours while the mouth heals.

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