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Post-Op Instructions

Dr. Layth Ghanim and our team are committed to ensuring your post-op recovery is as smooth and comfortable as possible. Our dentist will provide you with specific, detailed instructions for oral care. We also offer general information as guidelines for the following procedures:

Tooth Extraction:

  1. If you experience bleeding, place a gauze pad over the extraction site and use pressure on the gauze pad for an hour. Apply new gauze and repeat every 45 minutes if bleeding continues.
  2. Young children need to be supervised while their tongue and cheeks are still numb to ensure they do not bite the soft tissues of their mouths and cause further injury.
  3. Do not eat or drink anything hot for the first day.
  4. Do not drink with a straw or spit, as these can dislodge the blood clot and open your wound.
  5. Avoid carbonated beverages for the first day.
  6. Do not brush or floss on the day of extraction. You can resume a dental oral care routine the following day.
  7. Take medication as prescribed by the dentist, following the instructions provided.
  8. For the first few days (typically 2-3), you should eat a diet of only soft foods and liquids, such as juice, yogurt, smoothies, milkshakes, and soup.
  9. If you have undergone an extensive surgical procedure, such as the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth, we can provide an ice wrap to be worn on your head at intervals (10 minutes on, then 5 off) for the remainder of the first day.
  10. Please contact our office if you developed severe pain, swelling, or bleeding. If it is a serious emergency, call 911.

Dental Fillings:

  1. Avoid biting on the new filling until all numbness has worn away.
  2. Supervise children while their mouths are still numb to ensure they do not bite their tongues or cheeks and damage the soft tissue.
  3. Amalgam fillings take some time to set, and should not be bitten or chewed on for the first 24 hours.
  4. Any soreness or tooth sensitivity should wear away after the first few days.
  5. Contact us if you continue to experience any discomfort or pain after a few days, or if you have questions for our dentist.

Dental Crowns and Bridges (also Inlays and Onlays):

  1. Dental crowns and bridges typically require 2-3 visits to achieve completion, and a temporary restoration may be placed during the first appointment.
  2. Temporary crowns are often made of soft metal or plastic-based material, and can break under too much pressure or become dislodge. In the case of either, contact our office for a replacement as soon as possible. Protect the temporary crown by chewing on the opposite side of your mouth and avoiding sticky or hard food (including caramel, gum, raw carrots and apples, ice, etc.).
  3. Any tooth sensitivity or gum soreness should disappear after the permanent restoration is placed.
  4. Do not chew on your teeth while numb to avoid biting your lip, cheeks, or tongue.
  5. You can brush as normal, but do not floss up and down, as this could dislodge the crown. Refrain from flossing until the permanent restoration is in place if you have difficulty maneuvering the floss around the treated tooth.
  6. You may feel pressure and a difference in your bite when the permanent restoration is placed. After a few days, if you still feel your bite is uneven or uncomfortable, contact Arlington Dental Excellence for an adjustment as soon as possible.
  7. We encourage you to contact us at any time if you have questions or are experiencing pain

Root Canal Treatment:

  1. It is not uncommon to experience discomfort or sensitivity in your teeth and gums after a root canal procedure. While the healing process may take a few days, discomfort should subside gradually.
  2. Please take medication as prescribed by our dentist.
  3. Do not bite on any temporary fillings for an hour or until the numbness has worn off. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth and be gentle with the filling until the permanent has been place.
  4. Brush and floss as normal.
  5. Do not delay your treatment—follow up for the placement of the permanent filling as advised to avoid damaging the tooth permanently.
  6. Call Dr. Dr. Layth Ghanim and our team if you experience severe swelling or pain, or have questions.

Teeth Cleaning (Deep Cleaning):

  1. Following a deep cleaning, your teeth may be sensitive to cold and heat.
  2. Do not eat while your mouth is numb.
  3. Brush and floss as usual.
  4. Some bleeding after treatment is common. If you experience excessive bleeding, contact our office right away.
  5. Please give us a call if you have questions or are in pain.

Placement of Braces:

  1. Some patients experience pressure and discomfort for the first few days after receiving braces or when the braces are tightened.
  2. Avoid any hard or sticky food, and be gentle with the braces.
  3. It is important to maintain strict oral care habits, even though brushing and flossing with braces can be time consuming.
  4. Contact us with any questions.

Gum Surgery:

  1. It is common to experience some discomfort, swelling, and bleeding following surgery.
  2. You can reduce swelling on the day of surgery by placing an ice bag on the treatment site (10 minutes on, then 5 minutes off).
  3. Take medications as prescribed.
  4. Do not poke around the treated area or lips.
  5. Do not brush the treated area, but continue brushing the remainder of your mouth.
  6. You may experience some numbness or the feeling of loose teeth after surgery.
  7. Do not spit, drink with a straw, or smoke on the day of surgery (do not smoke for a few days after surgery either).
  8. Visit our office on time for a follow-up and to have sutures removed.
  9. Please feel free to contact our office with questions or if any complications occur.

Implant Surgery:

  1. It is normal to experience some bleeding on the day of surgery.
  2. To reduce swelling and discomfort on the first day, use an ice bag on the surgical site (10 minutes on, then 5 minutes off).
  3. Take any medications as prescribed by the dentist.
  4. Do not prod the treated area or manually raise your lips.
  5. Avoid the surgical site when brushing, but brush as normal around the rest of your mouth.
  6. You may experience the feeling of loose teeth for a few days
  7. Do not use a straw, spit, or smoke on the first day (avoid smoking for a few days following surgery).
  8. Visit us for a follow-up and to have sutures removed when recommended by the dentist.
  9. Contact us with questions or if difficulties occur. If you have a serious emergency, call 911.

Denture Delivery:

  1. Discomfort for a few days after the placement of a denture is common.
  2. Your denture will require adjustments in order to fit comfortably in your mouth.
  3. Remove your dentures every night and store them in a clean container of denture solution or water so that your gums can rest.
  4. Use a brush and water to thoroughly clean dentures before placing them back in your mouth.
  5. When you first receive dentures, speaking may be a challenge, but you can practice by reading out loud each day to help your tongue and muscles become accommodated to the dentures.
  6. Contact our office right away if you have questions or if you experience discomfort or pain.

Apicoectomy (Root Canal Surgery):

  1. You may experience minor pain, skin discoloration, or swelling after a surgical procedure.
  2. Use an ice pack for a few hours after treatment (10 minutes on, then 5 minutes off) to reduce swelling.
  3. The next day, rinse the treated area with lukewarm water after each meal, and repeat for the first three days.
  4. Eat a diet of soft foods, omitting anything hard or sticky. You can also take vitamin supplements as needed.
  5. Rest and eat often, but do not sleep on the treated side of your face for a few days.
  6. Do not play with your lips or poke around the treated area.
  7. Do not brush the surgical site, but brush the rest of your mouth as normal.
  8. You may experience the sensation of loose teeth temporarily.
  9. Take medication as prescribed.
  10. Please feel free to contact our office if you experience difficulties. If it is a true emergency, though, call 911.

Bone Graft Surgery

  1. Whether your surgery involved being put to sleep or a local anesthetic, the post-op surgeries remain the same.
  2. Do not pull at your lip or poke the treated area, as this can pull on the suture, expose bone, cause pain, and delay healing.
  3. Sutures remain in place for 2-3 weeks or depending on the size of your graft and the condition of your tissues.
  4. Our dentist will determine the length of time required for proper healing, though this time can be extended.
  5. Dr. Dr. Layth Ghanim may provide a periodontal pack to be placed over the surgical site. The pack is pink and filled with antibiotic material to prevent infection and the washout of bone. Leave the pack in place as long as the dentist recommends—typically a minimum of 7-10 days. At your one-week follow up, our dentist will determine if the pack needs to remain longer. Contact us if your pack falls off.
  6. Do not brush the surgical site, but brush the rest of your mouth as normal.
  7. Do not use mouthwash, antiseptic solutions, or other astringents, as these can ruin your bone graft. We will provide saline when your mouth has sufficiently healed.
  8. Avoid hard, sticky, large, and hot food. Your food should be tepid or cool. You are welcome to contact us for diet suggestions.
  9. Do not smoke for the first 7-10 days after surgery.
  10. Contact our office with any questions or if complications arise.

Dr. Dr. Layth Ghanim and our team want you to enjoy the best possible outcome with your surgical procedure, and we encourage you to follow all instructions to reduce the risk of infection, re-injury, and other complications. Please be aware that the outcome of a procedure is not always perfect, at no fault to the patient or doctor, and some procedures may need to be redone.

If you have further questions regarding your post-op instructions in Arlington, Virginia, please contact our office at 703-525-0157 and schedule an appointment with our dentist.

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