Post-Operative Instructions from Your Livonia Dentist

Over the past few weeks, Livonia dentist Dr. James Stewart has explained what to do following your cosmetic, periodontal, and restorative dental work. Today, Dr. Stewart wants to explain the post-operative instructions for two of the more invasive procedures we offer at our Livonia, MI dentist office: tooth extraction and root canal therapy.

After Tooth Extraction

Following your tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form so that the extraction site can begin healing. To encourage clotting, we will ask you to bite on a sterilized gauze pad at the end of your procedure. If the bleeding continues, change the gauze pad every thirty minutes and continue biting. A blood clot has formed once the bleeding subsides. To protect the blood clot, refrain from smoking, sucking through a straw, rinsing your mouth vigorously, cleaning the teeth immediately next to the extraction site, and chewing near the extraction site.

It’s also important to rest following your procedure. Keeping your blood pressure low for the first twenty-four hours following your procedure will help to encourage healing. To remain comfortable while you rest, use an ice pack (twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off) for the first six hours following your procedure, take medications as directed, drink lots of fluids, eat only soft foods, and avoid alcoholic beverages and spicy foods. You can return to your normal eating habits the next day. You can also resume normal dental hygiene habits the next day. Just be careful around the extraction site itself.

If you experience severe pain, heavy bleeding, and continued swelling, call our Livonia dentist office at (734) 425-4400.

After Root Canal Therapy

Following your root canal procedure, your lips, teeth, and tongue might feel numb. To protect yourself, avoid chewing until the numbness has subsided.

At the end of your root canal therapy, Dr. Stewart will place a temporary dental crown for you to wear until your permanent restoration arrives from our dental laboratory. It’s normal for these temporary restorations to wear away, break off, and fall out. If this occurs, call our dentist office right away for further instruction.

Like with a tooth extraction, it’s important to eat soft foods and take all prescribed medications. To further reduce pain and swelling, and to protect your temporary restoration, rinse your mouth three times each day with warm salt water, avoid sticky foods, and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.

Once your permanent dental crown has arrived at our office, Dr. Stewart will invite you in, ensure the proper fit and appearance of your crown, and place your final restoration. To ensure the longevity and stability of your new tooth, practice quality at-home dental hygiene.

To reserve an appointment at our Livonia, MI dentist office, call (734) 425-4400 or visit us online at