We have provided some common post-operative instructions to help you heal and recover from more extensive treatments that you may receive. Please find the procedure you need to view your post-op instructions. If you have questions or wish to schedule your follow-up appointment with Dr. Fred Hermanson in Apple Valley, Minnesota, please call Smiles by Design Dental Care at 952-432-9155.

Dental Filling

After receiving a dental filling:

  • Do not eat for one hour or until your numbness is gone.
  • Do not bite on numb lips or tongue. Please supervise children carefully to ensure that they do not injure their soft tissues.
  • If you received a silver (amalgam) filling, do not bite hard or chew on the filling for 24 hours.
  • You may experience sensitivity to heat and cold and some gum soreness; this will subside within a few days.

If you experience pain or discomfort for more than a few days following your procedure, please contact our office.

Tooth Extraction

Following a tooth extraction, you should:

  • Place pressure on the gauze pad over the extraction site for 1 hour. If bleeding continues, place a new gauze pad over the site and apply pressure for another 45 minutes.
  • Do not bite numb lips or tongue. This is especially important for children who have had an extraction.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything hot on the day of your extraction.
  • Do not rinse your mouth or spit.
  • Do not use a straw for drinking.
  • Do not drink carbonated beverages.
  • Do not brush on the day of the surgery. You can resume gentle brushing and flossing the day after your procedure.
  • Use an ice pack or cold pack as directed if you experience pain, bruising, and/or swelling.
  • Should you experience pain beyond what the ice pack addresses, refer to the “Pain Protocol” handout you were given at the conclusion of your appointment.
  • Take all medications as instructed.
  • Maintain a soft diet for the first two to three days following surgery (soup, yogurt, milkshakes, juice, etc.).

If you receive a more complex surgical extraction, such as a wisdom tooth extraction or an implant surgical procedure, we will provide you with any additional instructions you may need. If you experience severe pain and/or swelling, please contact our office immediately. In the event of a serious medical emergency, call 911.

Root Canal Therapy

Following your root canal treatment, you may experience moderate pain and sensitivity to pressure on your teeth. You may also feel gum soreness for several days. The pain and discomfort should subside gradually as you heal.

We recommend that you:

  • Take all prescribed medications as directed.
  • Do not bite on the treated tooth for one hour or while numb.
  • Be very gentle with the treated tooth until a permanent restoration is placed. Try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Continue brushing and flossing as you normally do.
  • Schedule your follow-up appointment for the placement of your permanent restoration. Delays in the placement of your crown or other restoration may permanently damage your tooth.

If you experience severe pain or swelling, please contact our office immediately.

Crowns, Bridges, Inlays & Onlays

Crowns and bridges usually take two to three appointments to complete. After your teeth are prepared for your restoration, we will take impressions of your smile and place a temporary restoration. While you wait for your permanent restoration, you may experience sensitivity, gum soreness, and/or slight discomfort on the treated tooth. This should subside after we place the permanent restoration. For a successful treatment, we recommend that you:

  • Avoid chewing until the numbness from the anesthesia has worn off.
  • Do not chew on sticky or hard food (chewing gum, ice, etc.). This may cause the temporary restoration to come off or break. Try to chew on the opposite side of the temporary as much as possible.
  • Continue normal brushing habits, but be careful when flossing around the temporary restoration. If you have trouble getting the floss between the temporary and surrounding teeth, refrain from flossing that tooth until you receive your permanent restoration.
  • After the permanent restoration is placed, your teeth and bite may feel different. If your bite still feels uneven or you feel discomfort when chewing on the tooth after two to three days, call our office so that our dentist can adjust the restoration.

Please contact our office if you have questions or are in pain.

Teeth Cleaning/Deep Cleaning

Following a deep dental cleaning, you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity.  We recommend that you:

  • Not eat anything until the numbness from anesthesia has subsided.
  • Continue regular brushing and flossing.
  • Some bleeding for a day or two following treatment is normal; however, if you experience excessive bleeding, contact our office immediately.

Please call our practice if you have any questions or are in severe pain.

Implant Surgery

Following your implant surgery:

  • You may experience discomfort and bleeding the day of the surgery.
  • Take all prescribed medication as directed.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold pack on your face over the surgical site the day of your procedure (10 minutes on, 5 minutes off).
  • Do NOT raise your lips with your fingers to inspect the treated area.
  • Do NOT brush teeth near the surgical site. You may brush the teeth in other areas of your mouth.
  • Do NOT smoke, spit, or use a straw on the day of the surgery.
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products for a few days following your procedure.
  • Keep all follow-up appointments.

Please contact our office if difficulties occur. In the event of a serious emergency, call 911.

Denture Delivery

You will experience some discomfort with your new dentures for a few days. Your dentures will likely require several adjustments to completely and comfortably fit your mouth. In order to ensure the highest level of satisfaction, we recommend the following actions:

  • Take your dentures out every night, and keep them in a clean container that is filled with water or denture cleaning solution. Your gums need to rest and be without the dentures for a period of time every day.
  • Clean your dentures thoroughly with a brush and water before putting them back in your mouth.
  • It may be difficult to speak normally with dentures for a few days. We recommend reading a book or newspaper outloud each day to help your tongue and muscles get used to the dentures.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or if you have any questions about your dentures, please contact our office.

Bone Graft Surgery

Following your bone grafting treatment, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You will have had several sutures (stitches) placed at the surgical site. If these sutures are resorbable, they will dissolve on their own. If not, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment to have them removed. This will typically be two to three weeks after your surgery.
  • Do not pull up your lips or cheeks to show or examine the surgical site. This can damage the surgical site, expose bone, cause pain, and delay your healing process.
  • You may have a periodontal pack placed over the site. The packing is kept on for seven to 10 days at minimum. Leave this pack in place for as long as possible. Our dentist will remove the packing at your one week follow-up and determine if it can be permanently removed or should be replaced. If the pack falls off before your one week checkup, return to our office as soon as possible.
  • Brush in every area except where the periodontal pack is in place. Do NOT use mouth wash or antiseptic solutions of any kind. After the first stages of healing, we will provide you with a saline solution and irrigation syringes with instruction on how to use this in cleaning your surgical site.
  • Do not eat anything that is too large, too hot, or too sticky. Your food should be tepid or cool.
  • Do NOT smoke or use tobacco products for at least seven to 10 days following your treatment. Complete closure and wound healing typically take 21 days under ideal healing conditions. We recommend avoiding smoking and other tobacco products for that period of time.

Bone grafting is a very predictable surgical procedure when performed correctly and when patients adhere to post-operative recommendations. Please understand that this procedure has inherent risks associated with it, as stated in your informed consent forms. Some of these risks are also pertinent to post-operative care.


Our dentist and team want you to enjoy a perfect outcome to your procedure. This can only be attained with your cooperation.  Please feel free to speak with us at any time to make sure that your procedure and post-op care are properly maintained. No question is silly or unreasonable. We would rather answer your questions immediately than run the risk that your procedure will not go as planned.

Please remember that there are some instances when the outcome of a treatment is less than perfect, no matter what is done. There are also infrequent occasions when a procedure needs to be redone. These situations are not the fault of the doctor or the patient.

Please contact us at 952-432-9155 if you have any questions.