Home Instructions

 

Dental Injections                          Implant Surgery
Veneer or Cosmetic treatment      Root Canal
Crown and Bridge treatment        Periodontal Therapy
Extractions                                   Bleaching
Composite Fillings

 

  • After dental injections
            
    • 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. It is normal to experience some soreness at the injection site. Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Naproxen (Aleve) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If discomfort persists beyond a few days, or if swelling develops, contact our office.

             
  • After veneer or cosmetic treatment
                  
    • 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. A mild pain medication (Naproxen (Aleve) or Ibuprofen (Motrin)) should ease any residual discomfort.
                  
    • 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 as normal. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.
               
    • Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. You may notice increased salivation. This is because your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside to normal in about a week.
               
    • Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Rubber tips to massage the gums really aid healing. 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 beer 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. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you. 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.

  • After crown and bridge treatment
         
    • 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.
               
    • Daily brushing and flossing are a must for even your temporary dental work. Rubber tips to massage the gums really aid healing. Daily plaque removal is important for the proper placement of your permanent crown or bridge.
              
    • Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. See the dental emergency section of the website. It is 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.

         
  • After extractions
         
    • After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 45 minutes after the appointment. Slight bleeding or oozing may persist for a few hours, but if bleeding seems excessive, call the office immediately.
             
    • Gently rinse with warm salt water after every meal and before bed to keep the site clean.  Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke or drink alcohol for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard 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 some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum.
             
    • Use pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. 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. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

        
  • After composite fillings
     
    • You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office.
                
    • It’s normal for new fillings to be sensitive to temperature and to chewing for a few days.  Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Naproxen (Aleve) work well to alleviate the tenderness.
          
    • If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

       
  • After implant surgery
         
    • After an implant is placed, you may experience some swelling and discomfort.  An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum.
          
    • Use pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. 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.
          
    • Gently rinse with warm salt water 3-4x/day and use the antibiotic rinse at least twice a day.

    • Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the implant site.
          
    • It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

         
  • After root canal treatment
        
    • It is common for teeth with recent root canal treatment to be sore to chewing or to ache for several days. Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Naproxen (Aleve) work well to alleviate this tenderness.
       
    • If you notice an infection, swelling or a “pimple” forming on the gums above the tooth treated, call the office.
       
    • Root canal treated teeth are more fragile than normal teeth and usually require a crown on them after treatment for added strength. Until a crown is placed, be sure not to chew too heavily on the tooth treated.

       
  • After periodontal therapy
       
    • Gums usually feel tender after periodontal treatment for several days. Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Naproxen (Aleve) work well to alleviate this tenderness.
          
    • As your gingiva heals and becomes less swollen, more of your roots are exposed and the teeth can become very sensitive to temperature (especially cold).  This is temporary and can be improved with regular applications of Sensodyne toothpaste.
         
    • For the first week after therapy, rinse with 1 ½%  Hydrogen Peroxide twice a day.  A normal bottle of hydrogen peroxide is 3%, so you can dilute it with equal parts water or mouthwash to make it 1 ½%.  Do not swallow the peroxide.

        
  • After bleaching
        
    • Bleaching is very safe and causes no permanent damage to enamel or gums, but they can make both your gums and teeth temporarily sensitive, especially to cold.
        
    • Sensodyne is a toothpaste designed to decrease cold sensitivity.  Try brushing your teeth for a few days with it and even place some in the trays you were provided for the bleach and sleep with the Sensodyne in the trays for a night.
        
    • If your gums are irritated, refrain from bleaching for a few days to let them heal and then try again and be sure to wipe excess gel away from your gums after placing the tray.