Dental Procedures Post-Op Instructions

Composite (Resin Bonded) Fillings:

  • Your bonded filling is completely set, however you will want to wait for the numbess to wear off before eating.
  • Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks or tongue, which can cause serious damage. 
  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common following a dental restoration. The sensitivity may last several days to several months depending on how deep the cavity penetrated your tooth. The sensitivity is usually most noticeable the first 12 to 24 hours after the anesthetic wears off and then disappears slowly. Use a sensitive formula toothpaste for relief.
  • The gum tissue may have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days. The site where the anesthetic injection was given may also be sore for a few days. 
  • The finished restoration may be contoured slightly differently and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days. 

Amalgam (Silver) Fillings:

  • Do not bite together hard or eat on new amalgam fillings for 2 to 3 hours. Do not eat hard or very crunchy foods for 24 hours.
  • Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks or tongue, which can cause serious damage. 
  • The numbness can last for up to 4-6 hours. A soft diet is recommended until the anesthesia wears off.  Avoid hot drinks or foods until the numbing is gone. 
  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common following a dental restoration. The sensitivity may last several days to several months depending on how deep the cavity penetrated your tooth. The sensitivity is usually most noticeable the first 12 to 24 hours after the anesthetic wears off and then disappears slowly. 
  • The gum tissue may have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days. The site where the anesthetic injection was given may also be sore for a few days. 
  • The finished restoration may be contoured slightly differently and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days.

Crown & Bridge:

  • Following the first appointment for a crown or bridge procedure, a temporary crown is placed on the tooth or teeth involved. This will protect them while the custom restoration is being made.
  • Temporary cement is used so that the crown can be easily removed at your next appointment. If your temporary crown comes off between appointments, clean the inside and slip the temporary crown back on and call us for an appointment to recement the crown as soon as possible. A little Vaseline or toothpaste placed inside the temporary crown will help hold it in place until it is cemented.  On occasion you may need to purchase temporary dental cement at your local pharmacy to keep the temporary crown in place.
  • Avoid chewing gum, sticky foods and candy while the temporary crown is in place. The temporary crown is made of a plastic and is not as strong as the permanent crown and it can break or come off if these foods are eaten.
  • Your permanent crown will be custom shaped and shaded to match your teeth. The temporary crown is made to serve you for a short period of time, so its color and shape are not as closely matched to your teeth.
  • Be careful until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many people will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks or tongue, which can cause serious damage.  Feeling should return to normal within 4 hours of your appointment.
  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common following a dental restoration. The sensitivity may last several days to several months depending on how deep the cavity penetrated your tooth. The sensitivity is usually most noticeable the first 12 to 24 hours after the anesthetic wears off and then disappears slowly.
  • The gum tissue may have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days. The site where the anesthetic injection was given may also be sore for a few days.
  • Please follow prescribed oral hygiene instructions - 45 degree angle brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to avoid getting a cavity or gum disease around the filling. When flossing around your temporary crown, slide the floss out between your teeth rather than snapping up between the teeth so your temporary crown does not come off.
  • The finished restoration may be contoured slightly differently and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days.

Crown Cementation Appointment

  • Please do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after your new crown is cemented. Do not eat hard or sticky foods for 24 hours while the cement completely sets.
  • Your new crown may feel tight or as if it is pushing against the teeth next to it for several hours. This discomfort will go away within a day or two.
  • Sensitivity, especially to cold is common after a crown is cemented. Usually the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be. It may take several days to a month for the sensitivity to go away.
  • The finished restoration may be contoured slightly differently and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days.
  • Please follow prescribed oral hygiene instructions - 45 degree angle brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to avoid getting a cavity or gum disease around your new crown. Flossing is especially important in preserving the health of your crown or bridge. 

 Scaling and Root Planing:

  • For pain or discomfort you may take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or Tylenol (if you have stomach ulcers).
  • Avoid eating crunchy, spicy or hot foods for the first 24 hours after treatment.
  • Rinse with warm salt water (1 tsp. salt in 1 cup warm water) 2 to 3 times daily until your gums are no longer sore.
  • Brush gently today even if your gums are tender to help remove the plaque that has started to reform. Start flossing (1 X/ per day) the day after your treatment. Avoid toothpicks and electric tooth brushes until the next day after treatment. You may also start rinsing with Listerine mouthrinse two times a day the day after treatment to help reduce the plaque build-up on your teeth.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold is very common after periodontal treatment. It usually resolves within a few weeks. If it does persist, we will recommend a special toothpaste which can help decrease the sensitivity.
  • You may notice as the gum tissue heals and the swelling goes away, more of the tooth’s root surface will be exposed. This is part of the normal healing process after periodontal treatment.
  • Follow all prescribed home care instructions exactly as directed. Success of treatment directly depends on excellent oral hygiene at home and regular recare visits with our hygienist. 

 Root Canal Therapy:

  • Root canal treatment can take 1 to 3 appointments depending on the tooth and the reason for the root canal. 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 and possibly swelling. In most cases the quantity and quality of discomfort will subside dramatically within the first 24-48 hours. Any sensitivity to cold, hot or even breathing air "in" may take several days to several weeks to disappear completely.
  • Taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin or Aleve usually relieves this discomfort. Tylenol has been proven not to be as effective as aspirin, etc., because it does not have the anti-inflammatory component as these other medications. The most common complaint is tenderness to touch, bite, tapping or chewing on the tooth. It is recommended to refrain from any of these actions and to chew on the other side until your tooth is permanently restored.
  • It is difficult to predict which symptoms, if any, you may experience and to what extent. In some cases, pain medication and/or antibiotics may be necessary.
  • If you experience swelling or pain that worsens after your visit, call our office; it may be necessary to schedule you an appointment and you may need antibiotics.
  • A temporary filling will be used to seal the tooth between visits. Sometimes it is difficult to hold this filling in place because the tooth is severely broken. If the filling comes out please call our office for an appointment to replace the filling. Leaving the tooth unfilled will lead to infection.
  • Be gentle on the tooth while eating, and avoid chewing on hard and sticky foods until the final restoration is placed.
  • During root canal treatment, the nerve, blood, and nutrient supply to the tooth are removed. This will cause the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracturing which can result in the need to extract the tooth. Chew on the other side, and avoid hard, sticky foods. In most cases, a full coverage crown restoration (cap) will be necessary to protect your tooth after the root canal is completed.
  • Be careful until the anesthetic (numbing) wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many people will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks or tongue, which can cause serious damage. 
  • The numbing in the upper jaw will last approximately 1 hour, and the numbing in the lower jaw will last up to 4 hours. A soft diet is recommended until the numbing wears off. Also, avoid hot drinks or foods until the numbing is gone.
  • The gum tissue may have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days. The site where the anesthetic injection was given may also be sore for a few days. 

 

Dentures:


INFORMATION CONCERNING YOUR DENTURE

  • Adjusting to a new denture takes time and practice. At first, speaking and chewing will seem awkward, but with practice, you will gain skill and confidence with your new denture.
  • You may experience sore spots caused by settling of the denture in your mouth for the first several weeks. Please call our office for an appointment to adjust your denture as needed. 
  • Every night carefully remove your denture and clean with a toothbrush and low abrasive toothpaste or denture cleanser. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to remove plaque and food particles. Clean your denture over a towel or a sink filled with water to protect it in case you accidentally drop it. 
  • Place your denture in plain water or in a denture soak overnight. It is important to leave your denture out of your mouth overnight to allow your gums to relax. 
  • When eating, practice chewing on both sides of your mouth to keep your denture balanced. Also, avoid biting into hard foods (apples) to avoid displacing your denture. 
  • Once a year, you will need to come in for an examination so the doctor can check the fit of your denture, check your gum tissues, and do an oral cancer-screening exam. 
  • Every 2 to 3 years you may need to have the inside of your denture refitted (called a denture reline) to maintain the tight fit of your denture. A denture reline is needed when your denture moves or rocks in your mouth. Rocking of your denture will cause the bone that supports your denture to shrink, making your denture more difficult to wear.

INFORMATION CONCERNING AN IMMEDIATE DENTURE

  • Biting pressure on the denture will promote clotting and will decrease the initial flow of blood. Slight bleeding can last up to 2-3 days.
  • Use an ice compress on affected side for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours. 
  • Limit your diet to soft and easy to chew foods and plenty of fluids for the first week. 
  • Do not take the denture out today, but rinse your mouth with warm salt water before going to bed and after meals (1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water). 
  • Starting tomorrow, carefully remove the denture twice a day and clean with a toothbrush and a low abrasive toothpaste or denture cleanser. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. 
  • Sleep with the denture in your mouth for one week. Then you should take it out when sleeping in order to relax the gum tissues. 
  • You may experience sore spots as the gum tissue heals and shrinks. Please call the office for an appointment to adjust the denture as the sore spots occur. 
  • Due to the gum shrinkage that occurs within the first six months, you may go through periods of a loose fitting denture. A temporary liner will be placed into the denture as needed. Denture adhesives can be used during this time as well. 
  • Following the gum shrinkage period (approximately 6 months), a permanent reline will be placed in your denture.