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Expert dental post treatment advice

At Holland Park Dental Centre we hope to have always covered all post operative advice at the time of treatment but to be on the safe side, and to support you, here you’ll find details of the expert advice our clinicians can offer you and your family for the aftercare of your dental treatment.



If you have had a local anesthetic it can take time to wear off, so your mouth, gums, and tongue will likely feel numb for a few hours after your dental filling. You may have difficulty talking, chewing and drinking. You may also experience a tingly ‘pins & needles’ feeling as the area regains feeling.

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The tooth may be more sensitive than usual to cold and heat for a few days to a week after the filling is placed.  Tell us if symptoms worsen or continue for more than a few days because this can indicate changes within the nerve of your tooth that may require further treatment.

We make every effort to ensure the filling is placed to the right height but it can be tricky when some patients are numb, so if your tooth feels too large, your teeth on the opposite side are not touching or if your tooth feels slightly bruised – give us a call and pop back in, free of charge, to have the filling height and your bite adjusted.

expert post treatment advice

Root Canal


Your tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days after root canal treatment, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This sensitivity or discomfort can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (use according to dosage instructions).

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We recommend minimise chewing on the tooth until it has been fully restored with the permanent filling and/or crown. This step will help to avoid re-contamination of nerve canal and may also prevent a now fragile tooth from breaking.

Patients often report that the tooth feels ‘odd’ or ‘different’ from their others after a root canal treatment – the hollow feeling they describe is perfectly normal and is because the inner nervous system of the tooth has been removed. If you experience any pain, swelling or inflammation after root canal treatment you will need to revisit us as soon as you can.

Crown, Bridge & Veneer


It’s not unusual for new restorations it to feel slightly strange, a bit large, rough and possibly a bit sensitive but this will usually settle in two or three days.  Some soreness around the gum is also very common but careful, thorough brushing will allow the gum to recover to a healthy, pink condition.

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bridges can feel slightly strange on your soft tissues because the gap that was present os now filled but your soft tissues adapt and adjust really fast and this soon passed.  Occasionally, the new teeth might feel a little high when you bite together, if this is the case, give us a call and pop in for an adjustment, free of charge.



We usually ensure all bleeding has stopped and that a clot has formed nicely before we discharge you. However, any further bleeding should normally stop within 15 minutes of the procedure. After a tooth is extracted it is normal for the area to be sore for a few days.

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This discomfort can be alleviated by over the counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or paracetamol (use according to dosage instructions). We will give you gauze packs to take away with you. Should the bleeding restart place a clean pack over the socket and hold by biting firmly onto it.

Your local anaesthetic can take time to wear off, so your mouth, gums and tongue will likely feel numb for a few hours after your extraction. You may have difficulty talking, chewing and drinking. You may also experience a tingly ‘pins & needles’ feeling as the area regains feeling. It is advised to eat soft foods, only once the feeling has returned. Avoid ‘bitty’ food like crisps, rice and nuts etc. as you want to avoid any food fragments getting trapped in the clot / socket.

You must not smoke for a minimum of 24hrs post extraction and you must not suck a drink through a straw.

You must not rinse vigorously for 24hrs as you do not want to disturb the clot that has filled and formed into the socket.

If your postoperative aftercare instructions are rigorously followed, healing will take a week to 10 days. It’s normal during this time for there to be a bad taste and possibly bad breath.

Very occasionally white fragments of bone may be lost from the socket but this is no cause for alarm. However, if you have any concerns that the socket is not healing properly or you think it may be infected, don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.

Teeth Whitening


There may be some sensitivity to hot & cold food and drink, this rapidly improves when the treatment has finished.  Desensitising toothpastes and serums can be very effective at minimising discomfort and may be included in your teeth whitening protocol.

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Occasionally,  whitening gel can cause temporary soreness around the gums. This can be minimised if 1. small amounts of the gel are used,2. the trays are not overloaded and 3. the excess is removed with a dry cotton bud and then 4. diluted with a wet cotton bud along the scallops of the trays.

The colour improvement can be maintained with good oral hygiene and avoiding highly coloured food & drink. Smoking will rapidly cause the teeth to darken again. The good news is that by ‘topping-up’ your at home whitening occasionally will soon restore the desired post treatment colour.



For the first 2 weeks after having a dental implant fitted, you must rinse the area with antiseptic mouthwash (which we will provide you with) morning and night for 1 minute. You’ll also need to rinse your mouth with warm salt water after every meal.

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It’s vital that you don’t brush your implant until you’ve had your stitches removed. You can brush your teeth gently, avoiding the implant site as best you can.  After 2 weeks, with the removal of the stitches, you can brush the implant with antiseptic gel and a soft brush. All cleaning devices used on your implant must be plastic, as metal may scratch the surface of the implant.

For the first week after having your implants fitted, we recommend that you eat only soft foods. Your clinician can give a diet sheet to ensure you’re eating soft but nutritious foods. You want to avoid anything that might get stuck in your teeth like seeds or popcorn. If these get into the implant site, it could cause an infection. Once your implant is fully healed, you’ll be able to eat all your favourite foods again and treat it as a normal tooth.

It’s normal for you to have some pain, swelling and bruising after implant surgery. This can be reduced with the help of over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (use according to dosage instructions). It’s also possible that the area may bleed; this is nothing to worry about. If this cannot be stopped with light pressure, contact us as soon as possible.

After your implant has been fitted, we will arrange periodic review appointments to ensure the procedure has gone smoothly and that you haven’t developed an infection. If you have any concerns or you think you might have an infection in the implant site, you should always contact us as soon as you can.

If you’re a smoker,  we will have advised you give up before you have your implant fitted. Research has shown that the rate of implant failure is much higher for those who smoke than those who don’t1.

Once your implant is healed, it’s important to keep up with impeccable oral health to ensure you get the maximum longevity from your dental implant. You should make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly. We recommended you see the hygienist frequently to have a thorough scale and polish.



1 Kasat, V., & Ladda, R. (2012). Smoking and dental implants. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 2(2), 38-41.



Some discomfort when drinking cold liquids or eat cold foods is to be expected. This sensitivity is the most common complaint after root planing and is due to removal of tartar and a minuscule amount of the tooth’s root surface.

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Sensitivity should gradually go away in a few weeks, in some cases it can take longer. In rare cases, permanent sensitivity can be left as a result.

Avoid really cold liquids and foods and spicy food for a few days or more after the periodontal root planing treatment. If needed, you can use desensitizing toothpastes, such as Sensodyne® or Colgate ProRelief® to help reduce sensitivity. Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can also help lingering discomfort (use according to dosage instructions).

Warm salt water rinses as often as you wish after 24 hours. Stir no more than 1/4 teaspoonful of table salt and 1/4 teaspoonful of baking soda into a cup of warm water to use as your rinse solution, to soothe any gum tissues that may be tender after the periodontal treatment. Alternate between this and Chlorhexidine (Corsodyl mouthwash 0.2%).

It is critical to maintain good plaque control to promote optimal healing after scaling and root planing or surgical therapy.

You may also gently massage the areas treated with your washed fingers. This will increase circulation and promote healing.

Once you have had your course of ‘deep cleaning’ it is important to still have regular hygiene maintenance appointments, usually at 3-4 month intervals. This is to remove any deposits and try to prevent them from causing further problems to the gums.



After you’ve had your braces fitted, you’ll need to follow your orthodontist’s advice and ‘brushing with braces’ instructions given to you to make sure you keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy to prevent damage or decay.

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We advise that you see the hygienist regularly as they can help you brush the difficult parts you might not be able to easily reach.

Avoid eating sticky or crunchy foods, such as caramel or lollipops as these could snap or damage the brackets and the wires. They can also get stuck in your brace and be difficult to clean out. Avoid fizzy drinks as they cause demineralisation and decay in the teeth. Even diet & sugar free fizzy drinks will still contribute to acid erosion and irreversible damage to your teeth.

The most important piece or orthodontic aftercare advice is “wear your retainer”.  Retainers are designed to keep the teeth in place so they don’t move back into their original position. You must wear your retainer at night for as long as you wish to keep straight teeth.

Pain, feeling bruised and aches are normal after your braces  have been fitted. This can be reduced with the help of painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (use according to dosage instructions).

Stick to soft foods such as soup and mashed potato  for the first few days to help you get used to eating with your braces on. You may also get some sores on the inside of your mouth while your gums and cheeks adjust to having braces resting on them. This can be alleviated by using the wax we demonstrated to you.

Once your braces have been removed we will review you periodically to ensure that your teeth have not moved, that your retainers still fit and that you are still wearing them. We will not charge you for these reviews and we usually discharge patients from our care after 1 year of aftercare and reviews.

Facial Aesthetics


Swelling, redness which will subside within a few hours is normal. Bruising may take a few days, especially if extensive. Arnica tablets/gel or vitamin k oxide cream can be used. A headache may occur after treatment, which is perfectly normal.

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Swelling and headaches can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (use according to dosage instructions). Botox results emerge gradually during 3- 14 days.

Remain upright for 2 hours. Use the muscles that have been treated more often for the first hour. Do not apply make up for approximately 6 hours unless it is mineral based. No facial massages or electrical stimulation of the face for the next 2 weeks. When cleansing, avoid pressure and gentle strokes away from the eyes. Avoid wearing tight caps or garments in the area that has been injected. For 48 hours you should avoid alcohol and exposure to UV and extreme heat i.e. sauna, steam, sun beds, very hot showers, strenuous exercise etc, as this may increase discomfort and swelling.

Do not rub or massage dermal fillers unless you have been specifically instructed to do so.

If you get a painful or itchy bump or swelling near an injection site please contact us immediately for a free of charge review.

Though extremely rare, any side effects affecting the appearance or function of your eyes especially very dry eyes could benefit from treatment, please inform us immediately.

Though rare in the extreme, immediately after your treatment, if you were to start to feel generally unwell and develop swelling and redness around your face your clinician is trained to recognise and deal with anaphylaxis. If you are no longer in the clinic 999 should be called for an urgent ambulance explaining your concern is anaphylaxis.

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