Home Care Instructions
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
Dental crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness is completely worn off.
Occasionally, a temporary crown may come off. If this happens, Call our office and bring the temporary crown with you so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.
To keep your temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.
It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office any time.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process, so you will be asked to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, or drink alcohol next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and slow the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take any pain medications as prescribed. Swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours such as brushing and flossing at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
You can typically resume your normal activities within a few days. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to any medication, call our office immediately.
After Composite Fillings (White Fillings)
When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb. You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off.
It is normal to experience some hot, cold and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, call our office.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.
Home Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery
After dental implant surgery, do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues heavily, please call the office for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
Be sure to take any prescribed antibiotics or pain medications as directed to help prevent infection.
Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures, should be worn as instructed by your doctor.
After Cosmetic Dental Reconstruction
Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed, it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.
It is normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling.
Don’t be alarmed if your speech is altered for the first few days after your procedure. You will quickly adapt and begin speaking normally. You may notice increased salivation, as your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside in about a week.
Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments.
Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances such as nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils and sticky candies. Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea, and berries.
If you engage in sports, let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.