Post-Op Instructions


After having a extraction some bleeding is normal. If the bleeding continues after biting on gauze for 30 minutes get a fresh piece of gauze and continue biting on it for 20 minutes. Repeat this process if necessary. It is important you do not smoke for a minimum of 12 hours after the extraction. The tobacco contains bacteria that can infect the area and prevent it from healing. You can drink liquids as usual but do not rinse your mouth because it can prevent the blood from clotting at the extraction site. The day following the extraction rinse every 3 to 4 hours with warm salt water and continue this process for several days. You can eat as normal but softer foods are recommended for the first 24 hours. If you notice swelling put a bag of ice wrapped in a towel on the outside of the mouth for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Continue this process for up to 5 hours.

It is normal to experience average pain after this procedure and we recommend taking Ibuprofen or Tylenol. If a prescription was given at the appointment make sure to take the proper doses as instructed by Dr. Carter. Make sure you continue proper oral hygiene because this will speed up the healing process. Be careful brushing and flossing near the extraction site for 2-4 days. After a few days have passed you should be able to continue your normal routine. If you experience any unusual symptoms please notify our office immediately.

Root Canal:

Root canal therapy can take 1, 2 or 3 appointments depending on the individual case. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any one of these appointments: sensitivity to hot and/or cold; sensitivity to pressure; possible swelling. It is difficult to predict which symptoms, if any, you may experience and to what extent. In complicated cases, pain medication may be necessary. If you experience any swelling, call our office; you may have an infection and it may be necessary to prescribe an antibiotic for you. A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits. This material may chip away before you return; if this is uncomfortable for you call our office and we will replace it. Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.

During root canal therapy the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth and some hard tooth is removed. This causes the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracture. In most cases a crown is needed to prevent this from happening.


You may experience minor discomfort the first few days following this treatment but it should gradually go away. The material we use is hardened at the time the service is performed and you should be able to eat and drink as normal. If you were numbed for this procedure the numbing will go away in a few hours, it is important to be careful not to bite your tongue or cheek when eating. The bite should feel normal after the numbing wears off. If you feel sensitivity to hot or cold or to pressure longer than a week after the procedure call our office because you may need a simple adjustment. The texture of the tooth surface may feel different at first but it will smooth out during time.

Creating Smiles For Life

Dr. John C. Carter, DDS
4907 Brambleton Avenue • Roanoke, VA 24018 • (540) 774-3143