Home Dental Care Instructions

The following are instructions for after your procedure to ensure a comfortable recovery:

Please do not hesitate to call our office if you should have any questions.

After Composite Fillings (White Fillings)

You may experience numbness in the lips, cheeks, and tongue for several hours after this procedure due to the anesthetic. In order to avoid the risk of accidentally burning or biting your tongue or lip during this time (which can turn into a painful situation once the anesthetic wears off), you should refrain from drinking hot beverages and chewing until the numbness has worn off completely. Composite fillings are fully set by the time you leave the office, so it is okay to chew as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off.

A heightened sensitivity to temperature and pressure is normal following your appointment, as well as a feeling of soreness at the injection sites. Over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and aspirin should effectively alleviate this sensitivity.

Please contact our office if you experience any of the following:

  • Soreness lasting for more than a few days
  • Temperature-sensitivity increases
  • If your bite feels like it is uneven

After Tooth Extraction The best thing you can do for yourself after having this procedure done is to bite on a gauze pad for 30 – 45 minutes afterwards. The reason for this is that after tooth extraction, the healing process will only begin after the blood has clotted. If bleeding or oozing still persists, bite down on a fresh gauze pad for an additional 30 minutes. Keep in mind that everybody is different, and it may be necessary to repeat this process several times until a clot has formed. In the 72 hours after the procedure, it is crucial to preserve the integrity of the clot in order to avoid painful, unnecessary rupture. Activities to avoid are as follows:

  • Brushing close to the extraction site
  • Strong rinsing. If it is absolutely necessary, do it gently.
  • Use of straws
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol

One should limit vigorous exercise in the 24 hours following the procedure as the resultant increase in blood pressure can cause the extraction site to begin bleeding again. Swelling is a normal side effect of extraction. An ice pack or a bag of small frozen veggies (peas, corn) will help to minimize this swelling, which usually subsides after 48 hours. Use the prescribed pain medication and/or antibiotics as directed. On the day of the extraction, drink plenty of fluids. As soon as you are comfortable post-procedure, you can resume eating normally. It is important to resume brushing and flossing to normal after the first 24 hours, as this will help speed the healing. Please call our office if you experience any of the following after Extraction:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Continued swelling for 2-3 days

After Cosmetic Reconstruction As meticulously close as we get to your ideal natural teeth, a new bite will take a few days for your brain to catch up to and adjust to the changes. There are some things that can be expected with this adjustment period that may seem strange, but are completely normal. While your brain is catching up to “the new normal”, you may notice increased salivation. Do not fret, as this is merely your brain’s response to the new shape and size of your teeth, and it will soon adjust. Another factor that will take some adjusting to is your speech. Thankfully, we are adaptive and your speech will soon return to normal as your brain makes the necessary adjustments.

As with many dental surgeries, temperature sensitivity will likely be present in the days following surgery. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Rinsing with a teaspoon of salt mixed into a cup of warm water will reduce swelling. It is recommended that you do this saltwater rinse 3 times per day and take pain medication as needed.

As with the natural teeth, you must always engage in your daily brushing/flossing routine. Anything that can stain or damage your natural teeth can do the same to your new teeth. This includes drinking wine/coffee and eating foods such as peanut brittle and beer nuts, as well as smoking.

Please let us know if you play sports or grind your teeth at night, and we will fashion a custom mouthguard for you to ensure the long-term success of your new teeth.

Please call our office if feelings of abnormality with the teeth persist after the first week, as this can mean that an adjustment appointment is necessary.

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

As with any procedure that requires an oral anesthetic, please refrain from chewing and drinking hot beverages until feeling has returned completely, as you run the risk of biting your tongue, lips, or cheek which can cause pain later.

Typically, the process of implementing crowns and bridges takes 2 – 3 appointments. The teeth are fitted with temporary crowns until the process is complete.

Rarely, a temporary crown may come off. If this happens, call the office immediately and bring the temporary crown with you so that we can put it back into place. It is very important to not leave any “wiggle room” for the other teeth to shift (and they will if left without a crown in the interim) as this would compromise the fit of your final restoration.

While you have the temporary crowns in, avoid eating gum and taffy, hard foods (think “peanut brittle”), and if possible, chew mainly with your natural teeth. During this time, it is important to brush normally. Be gentle with flossing. You don’t want to pull your floss up too hard around the temporary crown and run the risk of dislodging it.

Temperature and chewing sensitivity are normal after each appointment, and should subside a few weeks after the process is complete. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed.

Please contact the office is pain and sensitivity are persistent.