Post Op Care

Post Operative Care Instructions/ What to expect after the dental procedure...

Fillings: Since we predominantly use bonded filling materials it is normal to have some sensitivity after filling placement. This sensitivity is often described as biting pressure, temperature sensitivity or mild discomfort. These symptoms will resolve on their own with time but it can be days or months depending on the patient and the filling circumstances. If your bite feels “high” this may require a return visit to adjust the filling to prevent further sensitivity in the tooth.

Crown and Bridge Procedures: These procedures often are more aggressive than fillings and can sometimes result in post operative tooth or gum discomfort. In addition, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to protect it. Nerve irritation or sensitivity can be expected and can be the result of normal treatment or an imperfect temporary crown. Temporaries are generally for only a two week period. Unless the discomfort is severe then patience is usually the best remedy until the final crown is placed.

Root Canal: Localized tenderness in the tooth and within the jaw is normal and may be expected. This tenderness can last for many days. Sometimes, there is a period when things get worse before they getbetter. This happens when the initial infection gets “stirred up” during treatment. If pain persists or swelling occurs then it is time to call the office. If the discomfort is tolerable, then time and anti- inflammatory medications (as needed) usually will take care of things.

Tooth whitening: It is normal to have some sensitivity during the whitening process. Sensitivity can range from very mild temperature sensitivity to achiness of the teeth and gums. The degree of sensitivity is related to a number of factors: concentration of the bleaching gel, fit of the whitening trays, makeup of the individual patients tooth structure (some people are just more sensitive than others), length of use, etc. If more than mild and transient sensitivity occurs, we recommend that you take a few days off before trying the process again, contact us for a less strong gel concentration or use alternating treatments of whitening gel and a fluoride desensitizing gel. Contact the office for instructions. It is prudent to add that we cannot say for sure that the use of whitening agents will not cause harm to the teeth or gums that become apparent years from now. All we can say is we suspect that no long term problems will exist. Lastly, tooth whitening is not recommended for pregnant or breast feeding females.

Scaling and Root Planing: There may be some gum tenderness and/or residual bleeding after deep cleaning treatment. Patients may occasionally have sensitive teeth afterward. This may happen when unwanted tartar deposits are removed from the root surfaces, sometimes making teeth sensitive to temperature changes, certain stimuli like plaque acids and even touch. It is very important to brush and floss the areas that were treated even though there may be some sensitivity. In almost all cases, sensitivity of the teeth is a temporary problem that will go away on its own.

Porcelain Veneers and All Porcelain Crowns: We have placed all porcelain veneers or crowns on your teeth. These restorations were placed with the finest materials and techniques available today. However, you should be aware of the following information:

  1. Chewing: As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the veneered teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, bones, etc.) because the porcelain material can be broken from the teeth under extreme forces.
  2. Preventative Procedures: We have done our best to provide you with the finest quality oral restorations available today. However, as with a fine automobile or watch, only your continuing care and concern can assure optimum service longevity. Regular examinations and regular hygiene visits are necessary. Often problems that are developing with these restorations can be found at an early stage and repaired easily, while waiting for a longer time may require redoing entire restorations. Regular brushing and twice daily flossing are important to safeguard the future of these restorations. A brush on fluoride may be indicated for cavity prevention and for sensitivity if it exists. Ask your doctor.
  3. The future: We expect that you will receive several years of service from these all porcelain restorations. However, after watching these restorations for many years, we have seen the following situations occur occasionally. They are unavoidable and may require restoration replacement:
    a) Extreme force or trauma can break porcelain restorations just as the same force can break natural teeth. Use care in sports or other potentially traumatic situations. Do not bite extremely hard objects with one tooth. Breakage usually requires remaking the restoration, but occasionally they can be repaired.
    b) After a few years, some porcelain restorations may demonstrate slight stains at some locations around the edges. Please tell us if this occurs. Repairs can usually be accomplished.
    c) The gums may recede from the veneers or crowns displaying natural or discolored tooth structure underneath. This usually takes place over several years and can be a cosmetic issue only but may possibly require replacement.

Care Of The Mouth After Extractions:

  1. Immediately following a tooth extraction, keep pressure with cotton gauze provided to you until the bleeding stops 30-45 minutes. If heavy bleeding continues, call us.
  2. Do not smoke
  3. Do not use straws for 24 hours.
  4. Keep fingers away from the extraction site.
  5. Do not rinse vigorously as this will disturb the healing process.
  6. Following the procedure, you may experience some discomfort and/or swelling. This is normal.
  7. To reduce swelling, apply ice to the affected area. This may need to be continued for the first 24 hours.
  8. Homecare such as brushing and flossing should remain normal.
  9. On the days following, gently rinse your mouth with warm water or warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup warm water) after meals or to clean the healing area.
  10. If antibiotics are prescribed, finish the entire prescription as directed even if symptoms have disappeared.
  11. Please do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions or unusual symptoms.