Post-Op Instructions

Root Canal Therapy


  • You will continue to be under the effects of the anesthetic for several hours following treatment. Please use caution when when eating or drinking anything while numb. We recommend a soft diet. Avoid hot or hard chewy foods so that you do not burn or bite yourself during these first few hours.

What you can expect

  • You may experience mild to moderate pain and sensitivity to pressure on your tooth. The gums around the tooth may also be sore for a few days. Generally, the first 48 hours after root canal treatment has been completed is the most tender. Rinse with salt water if the gums are sore.
  • If you have been prescribed any medications, it is important to take them as prescribed by Dr. Frey.
  • A temporary filling has been placed in your tooth. This keeps out food particles and bacteria. Until the permanent restoration has been placed, be very gentle with the tooth.

When to call the office

  • Your tooth is very sore to biting pressure or if you are continuing to experience temperature sensitivity.
  • If you experience swelling, fever or severe pain.
  • If your temporary filling comes out entirely - bacteria can re-infect a root canal and cause it to fail if your permanent restoration is not placed in a timely manner.

Crowns and Bridges 

What you can expect

  • The tissue around the tooth may be tender for a few days. Warm salt water rinses will soothe the gum tissue (mix 1 tsp. of salt with 8 oz. of water). Ibuprofen can also help with post-operative sensitivity (600-800 mg every 6 hours).
  • You may have sensitivity to hot or cold with the temporary crown. This is fairly normal.
  • Keep the area by your temporary clean by brushing and gently flossing. Remember to pull the floss through the contact area and not up. If you pull up, it is possible to dislodge the temporary crown.
  • Avoid sticky foods such as gum, taffy, caramels, etc. They can pull your temporary crown off.
  • Avoid hard foods such as nuts, peanut brittle, popcorn kernels, etc. They can break the temporary crown.
  • Because this is only a temporary, it may not exactly match the color, shape or smoothness of the permanent restoration. Your permanent crown (or bridge) will more closely resemble your natural teeth.

White Fillings (Bonding) 

What you can expect

  • Mild sensitivity to temperature can be common with a new filling. This can be due to how deep the cavity was or that the tooth becomes dehydrated during the restoration process. Generally this is a temporary situation that will last just a few days, however a small percentage of patients will have sensitivity for several weeks, or possibly even months.
  • Occasionally there is soreness at the injection site which can last for a day or two. Ibuprofen can help with this discomfort.
  • If the cavity was close to the nerve, a nerve liner was placed. This helps the tooth to heal itself, although when a cavity gets too close to a nerve, the tooth may become infected. When this occurs, the tooth may need a root canal in order to be saved.
  • If the cavity was near the gumline, your gums may be sore for a few days. A salt water rinse and ibuprofen will help the gums feel better.

When to call the office

  • Your tooth is sensitive to pressure (especially biting forces)
  • You experience pain in the tooth or jaw that wakes you up.
  • Spontaneous pain that occurs when your not providing stimulus to the tooth, such as eating or drinking.

Complete or Partial Denture

What you can expect

  • You will experience some discomfort with any new denture. All new dentures or partials need a few adjustments to completely and comfortably fit your mouth.
  • It may be difficult to talk normal for the first several days. Try to read out loud for five minutes everyday until your speech becomes more normal. Your tongue and muscles around the mouth will get used to the new appliance very soon.
  • When placing partial dentures in your mouth, try to seat them using finger pressure. Avoid biting it into place as this may distort or possibly break the partial.
  • Once you have received your new appliance, wear it as much as possible. Try wearing your denture or partial for a minimum of 4 hours prior to any post-op appointments (this allows for any sore spots to become visible).
  • For immediate dentures, you will need to wear your denture all night for the first week and then start taking them out at night.
  • For new dentures and partials, take your appliance out every night and keep them in a container containing water or denture cleaning solution - this allows your gums to 'rest' and allows oxygen to help with any necessary healing. It is also important to brush your appliance 2-3 times per day because plaque and tartar can build up on them just like on your natural teeth.

When to call the office

  • Any time you are experiencing pain, discomfort or if you have any questions.

Scaling and Root Planing 

After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days contact your dentist.


After the surgery you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Thin Soups
  • ...and other food you can eat without chewing.

When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.

Contact Us Today!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Our Location

506 Corda Blvd | Crawfordsville, IN 47933

Office Hours


8:00 AM-5:00 PM


8:00 AM-5:00 PM




8:00 AM-5:00 PM


8:00 AM-2:00 pm