Home Instructions

After Cosmetic 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 (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) every 4 to 6 hours) should ease any residual discomfort.

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 hygiene 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, pencils, and/or 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 or clench your teeth at night, you should wear a nightguard appliance. 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 & Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges usually take two 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 has completely worn off.

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us if this happens 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 temporary 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 dont pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary, simply 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 at 943-4644.

After Tooth Extraction

Dental Extraction Post-Op Instructions for Immediately Following Surgery

  1. The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for 45 minutes, and then changed until the bleeding stops.
  2. Mouth rinsing, brushing teeth or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  3. Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
  4. Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  5. Place ice packs on the outside of your face where surgery was performed to reduce swelling. Leave the ice pack on for 20 minutes, then off for ten minutes. This can be repeated up to 24 hours.

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by placing the gauze over the area and biting firmly. Change the gauze every 15-45 minutes as it becomes saturated with blood and saliva. Be sure to place clean, damp gauze over the extraction site. Dry gauze will pull out the blood clot and cause the bleeding to continue. If bleeding continues after these measures, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

Swelling

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the bodys normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on for twenty minutes and then off for ten continuously. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.

Pain

For moderate pain, two to four 200mg tablets of ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) may be taken every 4-6 hours. For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine may make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Diet

After the procedure, liquids should be initially taken. Do not use straws. Do not spit. Drink from a glass. The sucking motion and spitting can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat. Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. The day after surgery you can brush your teeth, being careful not to brush near the surgical site. You should also begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day, especially after eating, with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt or Peridex rinse as directed.

Discoloration

In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.

Antibiotics

If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics may be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.

Other Complications

  1. If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As stated before surgery, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation. So be careful.
  2. Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office.
  3. You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You were not able to eat or drink prior to surgery. It was also difficult to take fluids. Taking pain medications can make you dizzy. You could get light headed when you stand up suddenly. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute then get up.
  4. Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots, they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by your doctor.
  5. If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
  6. Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days.
  7. Stiffness (Trimus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event that will resolve in time.

Finally

Sutures are placed to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged, this is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures will dissolve on their own in approximately 5-7 days. If the sutures are still in place by your one week post-operative appointment, the doctor will remove them.

The pain and swelling should peak on the third day and subside more and more each day. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur call the office for instructions.

There will be an extraction socket where the tooth was removed. This will gradually fill in with the new tissue over the next month. In the mean time, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt-water rinses or a toothbrush.

If a bone graft was placed, do not be concerned if you notice some bone graft material coming out of the site. This is a common occurrence and will not have an adverse outcome in your healing. If a large amount comes out at once, please contact the office.

Brushing your teeth is okay after 24 hours. Avoid the surgical site for the first couple of days.

A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur 2-3 days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs.

If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise is not recommended the day of the surgery because it will increase bleeding and swelling.

Smoking should be avoided for at least 72 hours following the surgery.

After Composite (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 lips while you are numb.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin (Bayer) work well to alleviate the tenderness. Contact our office for recommended dose and scheduling. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office.

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off. Composite fillings are fully set when you leave the office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 943-4644.