Post-operative Instruction

If you come to our office for a dental procedure or operation, you will need to take a few steps to take care of your mouth afterwards to ensure the effects of the procedure last. Your health and comfort are important to us, especially after an uncomfortable dental treatment like an extraction or filling. Please find the instructions for your respective procedure below, and contact CNS Dental at (703) 304-3881 if you have any questions or concerns.

If you have completed any procedure that requires anesthesia/numbing, please avoid anything to eat for approximately 2-3 hours after the procedure and avoid drinking anything unless it is with a straw.

Composite & Amalgam Fillings

When you leave the office, you will still be numb from the anesthesia. Make sure you’re careful not to bite your lip or tongue. Once feeling has returned, the area of the filling may be sensitive to hot or cold, but this sensation will diminish with time. If you feel that your teeth aren’t biting properly because of the filling, please call our office so we can adjust it for you. If you’ve received a composite filling, you can eat and drink right away, but it’s usually better and more comfortable to wait until the numbness has worn off. Composite fillings harden immediately, but may be sensitive.

Crowns, Bridges, & Veneers

Before you receive your permanent crown, bridge, or veneer, you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so take care when cleaning or eating. Please avoid any hard food such as ice or almonds. You should brush the area gently and avoid pulling up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. Avoid sticky or chewy foods like caramel and taffy until you receive the permanent restoration. You may experience some sensitivity and irritation after your procedure. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. Rinsing with warm salt water will help keep the area clean, and Motrin 200mg (2 pills every 4-6 hours) or Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) 225mg (2 pills every 8- 12 hours) will help you with any discomfort or pain. When the permanent crown, bridge, veneer is placed, it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural teeth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way after a week, please give us a call.


For the first 48 hours after your extraction, you should keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but do not drink through a straw. Sucking liquids through a straw can put strain on the extraction site. You also should not rinse your mouth or smoke during this period. After 48 hours have passed since the procedure, rinse your mouth gently every 3-4 hours using 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water. Continue rinsing for several days. Some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over the bleeding area and bite down firmly for 1/2 hour. Repeat if necessary. To decrease swelling, apply an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of your face for 15- minute intervals. Do this for the first 4-6 hours after the procedure. This will keep the swelling and discoloration to a minimum. Some bruising is normal for any surgical procedure. If you have unusual symptoms or concerns, please call our office immediately.

Full-Mouth Debridement

After your dentist performs a full-mouth debridement, your teeth may feel sensitive to air or cold water. You should keep up a good dental hygiene routine to ensure that your teeth remain clean and free of plaque. You can purchase and brush with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth so you can maintain your routine without pain.

Scaling & Root Planing

Your gums will probably be sore or irritated for a few days after the procedure. Rinsing with warm salt water will help keep the affected area clean, and will also relieve the pain. Brushing and flossing can be continued as normal after the procedure, but do so gently so you don’t 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, please let us know immediately, and come by for a visit if you are feeling extreme discomfort.

Nightguard Instructions

Invisalign Instructions