Dental procedures, like any medical procedures, require appropriate aftercare and time for recovery. Certain procedures, like the ones listed below, may require special attention and care. If you are planning one of these procedures, please read the relevant section below to make sure you are properly prepared, to help ensure a fast and easy recovery.
After Cosmetic Reconstruction
For most patients, simply knowing what to expect after cosmetic reconstruction can allay most of the concerns and uncertainty that can arise.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about the days following your procedure:
For the first several days, it is normal for your new bite to feel strange, as your brain adjusts to the new position or thickness of your teeth. If you continue to detect any problems with your bite beyond that timeframe, please contact us to make an appointment for an adjustment.
It is also normal for you to experience sensitivity in your teeth to hot and cold, during the time it takes for them to heal, and your gums may be sore, as well.
If you do have soreness in your gums, a warm salt water rinse (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will relieve pain and reduce swelling. Generally, any greater discomfort can be alleviated with a single Tylenol or Ibuprofen tablet every three to four hours.
You may find that your speech is affected for the first few days, but you will adapt quickly and your speech will return to normal.
Similarly, you could experience increased salivation, but that, too, will subside within a week or so.
A few simple measures will enable you to enjoy the benefits of your new dental work for many years to come:
Beginning right away, be sure to maintain a regimen of brushing and flossing every day, because daily plaque removal (like regular cleanings at the dentist’s office) is essential for the long-term success of your new teeth.
Avoid foods or other substances that can do damage or stain your new dental work-including anything that can crack or chip a tooth, like nuts or hard candies, and anything that can discolor it, like red wine, berries or cigarette smoking.
If you grind your teeth, be sure to use the night guard we have provided for you. If you are active in sports, you may also need extra protection. Please let us know and we can provide you with a customized mouth guard to safeguard your teeth.
All in all, any discomfort or special accommodations you may experience in the first few days after your procedure should be minimal, but please let us know if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever.
And remember it may take a bit of time to get used to the look and feel of your new smile-but when you do you will have a whole new reason to smile!
After Tooth Extraction
When you have had a tooth extracted, you will need to make several adjustments to your routine for the following few days.
Most importantly, the process depends on a blood clot at the extraction site, which will stop the bleeding and allow the healing to begin. The gauze pad you are asked to bite on for the first 30 to 45 minutes after the procedure helps give the clot time to form. If there is still bleeding or oozing after the allotted time is up, you should replace the gauze pad with another one and continue biting firmly for another 30 minutes; you may have to repeat this several times, until all bleeding has stopped.
Once the blood clot has formed, it is important not to disturb or dislodge it, so you will need to avoid doing such things as rinsing vigorously, sucking on straws, smoking, drinking alcohol or brushing your teeth near the extraction site for 72 hours. You should also limit strenuous activities, like exercise, that will increase blood pressure and could cause more bleeding from the site.
You may experience pain and/or swelling at the site following the extraction. The swelling usually subsides within 48 hours, and can be minimized with an ice pack (or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn) applied to the site; pain medications should be taken as prescribed. If your pain medication does not seem to be working, call the office.
If you have been prescribed antibiotics, use them as directed, continuing to take them for the time prescribed even if you have no signs or symptoms of infection.
You should drink a lot of fluids and eat nutritious soft foods during your recovery period. As soon as you are comfortable, you can resume your normal diet.
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. Good hygiene will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities.
If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to your medication, call our office immediately at (612) 444-2273.
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
It requires two or three appointments to complete crown and bridge work, and there are a few simple precautions you should take to ensure a successful procedure, beginning with the way your treat your temporary crown or bridge.
In some instances, your tongue, lips and the roof of your mouth may be numb immediately after the procedure, as a result of the anesthetic used. You should refrain from eating and avoid hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off, because it is easy to bite your lip or burn your tongue during this period.
During the entire time your temporary crown is in place, you should avoid eating sticky foods (including chewing gum) and hard foods, because these can cause it to come off. It is also desirable to chew on the opposite side of your mouth, for the same reason.
If a temporary crown does come off, despite your precautions, contact us right away so we can re-cement it, because allowing it to remain out of your mouth may cause your other teeth to move and prevent your final crown from fitting properly.
It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss in a way that may dislodge the temporary. Pulling the floss out from the side of the temporary will enable you to prevent a problem.
After each appointment, it is normal to experience sensitivity to both temperature and pressure. This should go away within a few weeks of your final restoration, and can be controlled with mild medications, as directed by your dentist. If you have persistent pain, or if your bite feels uneven (or if you have any other concerns), you should contact us at (612) 444-2273.
After Composite 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 lip while you are numb.
It is normal to experience some sensitivity to temperature and pressure after your appointment, and you may also experience some soreness at an injection site. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness.
If you still experience sensitivity to pressure after a few days, or if your sensitivity to hot or cold increases, please contact us.
You will be able to chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since the fillings are fully set when you leave the office.
If your bite feels uneven, you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (612) 444-2273.