How to Properly Recover After a Dental Procedure


Everyone needs some sort of dental help at some point in their life. While dental procedures can be uncomfortable, it’s important to remember that proper post-operative care is essential for a successful recovery.

Depending on the type of procedure you have performed, there may be certain restrictions on what you can and cannot do in order to ensure your mouth heals properly. Here, we’ll go over some tips and guidelines for recovering from a variety of dental procedures.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

After having a wisdom tooth removed, it is normal to experience some swelling and discomfort. To minimize these symptoms, your dentist will likely prescribe an antibiotic or pain reliever such as ibuprofen. It is important that you take these medications as directed by your dentist in order to reduce the risk of infection and further complications. You should also avoid smoking or drinking through straws during the recovery period as this can cause excessive bleeding and dry socket formation.

If you are experiencing persistent pain or swelling in your mouth several days after having your wisdom tooth removed, contact your dentist immediately. This is especially important if the pain is severe or accompanied by fever and chills as this could be a sign of infection. If left untreated, an infection can spread quickly and become more difficult to treat. Your dentist may need to provide additional care or adjust your medication in order to treat the infection and help you feel more comfortable.

Cavity Fills

Cavity fills are one of the most common types of dental procedures performed today. After having a cavity filled with composite resin material, you may experience sensitivity in the area for up to 48 hours afterward. This is normal but if sensitivity persists beyond this time frame or increases significantly then contact your dentist immediately.

Additionally, avoid chewing hard foods or brushing near the treated area for at least 24 hours after receiving the cavity fill in order to prevent dislodging of the filling material before it has been able to fully bond with your teeth enamel. 

Dental Implants

Having dental implants placed involves surgery, so it is important that you follow all preoperative and post-operative instructions given by your dentist. Afterward, it is normal to experience some minor swelling and discomfort which can usually be managed with ibuprofen or other pain relievers prescribed by your dentist.

However, if swelling persists more than 48 hours after implant placement, then contact your dentist immediately as this could indicate an infection or complication with the implant healing process. Additionally, avoid eating hard foods directly following implant placement until advised otherwise by your dentist as doing so could cause damage to the implant fixture itself before it has had time to heal properly into place within the jawbone structure of your mouth. 

Root Canals

Root canals are a common dental procedure used to treat an infected, damaged, or decayed tooth. After the procedure is complete, it is important to take any antibiotics prescribed by your dentist as directed in order to prevent infection. Additionally, avoid chewing food directly on the treated area and lay off hard foods for at least 24 hours post-op as this can cause further damage.

It is also important to stay away from sugary or acidic foods as these can cause discomfort post-op and slow the healing process. Lastly, you may experience some minor sensitivity after a root canal; however, if sensitivity persists for more than 48 hours then contact your dentist immediately as this could indicate that an infection has set in.

Routine Teeth Cleanings

Routine teeth cleanings are essential for keeping your teeth healthy and free from harmful bacteria. After having a professional cleaning done, it is normal to experience some minor sensitivity in the treated areas; however, this should subside after 48 hours. Additionally, avoid using mouthwash or any other type of alcohol-based product directly following the procedure as this can cause further irritation.

Lastly, it is important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It is also recommended that you see your dentist for regular check-ups every 6 months in order to ensure any problems are treated before they become more serious.

Dental procedures are often necessary in order to maintain our oral health; however, they can also bring about some unpleasant side effects such as swelling and discomfort during recovery periods ranging from 24 hours up to several weeks depending on which type of procedure was performed. That being said, there are some steps we can all take in order to ensure a successful recovery, such as avoiding smoking or drinking through straws, and refraining from eating hard food until advised otherwise by your dentist. Following these simple guidelines will help you get back on track with your oral health regimen sooner rather than later.

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