Home Care Instructions
After Restorative Treament (Fillings, Crowns, Onlays)
The length of time you will be numb after your procedure depends on the location, type and amount of anesthetic you were administered. You may notice the effects of the anesthetic wear off in as little as 30 minutes or as long as8 hours after your procedure. The average length of time for numbness is 1-3 hours after your procedure.
You can eat and drink immediately after your procedure unless specifically specified otherwise, but please chew on the opposite side until anesthesia wears off to avoid damage to soft tissue.
Discomfort and Sensitivity
Generalized Discomfort- The amount of discomfort after a procedure varies greatly and depends on many factors. Some people have no discomfort, while others have discomfort that may last for several days to weeks. It is normal to have some discomfort after the anesthesia wears off and for a few days afterwards. Most people experience a mild ache in the tooth and area worked on. If you do have some discomfort, an over the counter anti-inflammatory can be taken every 4-6 hours as needed for several days.
Hot and Cold Sensitivity- It is normal to have mild increased sensitivity to hot and cold for a few days up to several weeks after your procedure is completed. Severe thermal sensitivity may be an indication of an inflamed nerve and you should contact our office to be evaluated immediately.
Discomfort When Chewing- 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. Discomfort or pressure in the tooth every time you chew is most likely an indication that the restoration is high and contacting the opposing teeth prematurely. When you are numb, it is sometimes hard to tell how the teeth are coming together. A bite that felt good in the office, while you were numb, may not feel the same way when the anesthetic wears off and you actually chew on food. If you suspect the bite may be off, please contact our office. This is not an emergency, but the sooner we adjust the bite for you, the better off you are. The longer you wait to have the bite adjusted, the longer it will take for the tooth to heal and feel better. A bite adjustment takes less than 5 minutes, is not painful and does not require anesthesia. If you suspect a problem with your bite, call our office at Exeter Office Phone Number 603-772-3351 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.
Sore Gum Tissue- It is normal for the gum tissue around the tooth/ teeth that were worked on to be sore. Various dental materials and instruments are used for tissue retraction, isolation and contouring of the restoration(s) that can irritate and abrade the gum tissue. If the gum tissue is sore, you can rinse with warm salt water several times per day to make it heal faster. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 cup warm water and rinse for 30 seconds 3-4 times daily.
Sore Jaw/ Discomfort Opening Mouth– It is normal for yo to have some discomfort in your jaw and or discomfort when opening wide for a few days after your procedure. This is often the case with longer procedures or back teeth, where opening for long periods of time tires the muscles of your jaw, or when work is done on a lower tooth because of the location of the anesthesia placement.
Please be aware that in some instances, the trauma to the tooth from the restorative procedure may cause the nerve to become inflamed and die resulting in the need for additional treatment. This occurs most frequently when decay is close to the nerve and or when the tooth has had previous dental work preformed as a result of prior decay. It is impossible to predict when a nerve of a tooth may die because each tooth in each patient has it’s own threshold to which it will withstand trauma. Some teeth can be restored many times and never have the nerve die, while other teeth can have the nerve die without any trauma from decay or restorations.
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 cleaning appointments.
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.
If any of the above mentioned scenarios persist or worsen or if you have any questions or concerns call our office at Exeter Office Phone Number 603-772-3351
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
Temporary Crowns and Bridges
Temporary crowns are meant to be removed and are made of brittle acrylic or composite. Occasionally a temporary crown may come off or break. Call us at Exeter Office Phone Number 603-772-3351 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.
If your temporary comes off and you are away, and cannot get to the office, you may reposition your temporary yourself until you can be seen. Remove as much of the excess cement from the internal surface of the crown and around your tooth. Place a small amount of vaseline or denture adhesive on the internal surface of the crown and reposition it in the correct location. The crown will only go in one way. Do not force the crown into place. If you are unable to reposition the crown yourself leave it out of your mouth and keep the exposed tooth structure clean. You mayhave to reapply the vaseline or denture adhesive a few times per day.
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.
It is normal to experience the above mentioned symptoms as with any restorative procedure after the appointment.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at Exeter Office Phone Number 603-772-3351.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site 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. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office at Exeter Office Phone Number 603-772-3351 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 a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Exeter Office Phone Number 603-772-3351.