Following your filling appointment if an anesthetic has been used, your lips, tongue and cheek may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid 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 hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Over the counter Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Tylenol (one tablet every 4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. Once the numbness is completely worn off, if you feel that the filled teeth come in contact prior to the rest of the teeth contact our office for an adjustment.
You may chew with your composite (tooth colored) fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office. If you chose the silver fillings do not eat on that side for the next eight hours since silver fillings take longer to achieve their complete set strength.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges usually take two visits 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 is 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 temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods, gum and hard foods. It is important to brush normally. Floss all of your temporary crowns carefully and don’t pull up on the floss. This may dislodge the temporary crown. Instead, 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 discomfort, or if you have any other
questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office at (703) 441-2044. If it is after normal hours, leave a message and someone will get right back to you.
Root Canal Treatment
It is normal to have some post-operative pain. The pain can vary from mild to severe. You may take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). In some cases, prescription pain medications may be given. Please, take these as directed.
In some cases, an antibiotic is prescribed. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is very important to finish the entire prescription. Even if there is no pain, please finish the entire prescription.
The tooth may be quite sensitive to pressure even though it no longer has a nerve. This type of pain is normal and usually only lasts for the first week following treatment. This pressure sensitivity may come and go as the tissue and bone around the tooth continue to heal. Usually teeth of the lower jaw take longer to heal than teeth of the upper jaw and may be sensitive to chew on for up to two weeks.
Following root canal therapy all back teeth and the majority of front teeth will require a new filling and a crown. Once a tooth has the nerve removed, it becomes very brittle. Without the protection of a crown, they will fracture and will need to be extracted. This is the number one reason a tooth with root canal therapy are lost.
If you experience any problems or have further questions, please call our office. You can reach someone after hours by simply leaving a message at (703) 441-2044.
Proper care of the mouth following most dental procedures can reduce complications and speed the healing of the surgical area.
- Protection of the blood clot... Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze sponge that has been placed over the surgical area. Keep steady firm pressure for 45 minutes. Repeat as often as needed. Be sure to moisten the gauze with a little water so that it won't stick to the clot.
- Do not rinse... or use a mouthwash for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon table salt in 8 oz. of warm water) every 1-2 hours is recommended. The use of commercial mouthwashes during the healing period is not advised due to the alcohol content.
- Discomfort... Following dental surgery it is normal to experience some discomfort. If medication has been given or prescribed, take as instructed.
- The toothbrush... may be carefully used in the area of the mouth not involved by the surgical procedures. A clean mouth heals faster.
- Eating... Adequate food and fluid intake following surgery is most important. If you find that eating your regular diet is too difficult, you may supplement your diet with liquids such as Carnation Instant Breakfast ( CIB / any flavor). The high quality, nutritional value of CIB is important for prompt healing following such procedures. Should you not be able to chew solid foods of any nature, for several days or longer, contact our office.
- Avoid... all excessive activity. Don't pick at the surgical area. Don't consume liquids through a straw. Avoid alcoholic beverages and refrain from smoking until healing is well established.
- Sutures... If they were used, do not fail to return for their removal on the appointment date given.
- Control swelling... Gently apply ice packs to area for periods of 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off. This procedure should continue for the first 24 hours only.
- Medications... Make sure you take your prescribed medications strictly following instructions. Women taking birth control medications should be aware that antibiotics can cause the birth control medications to be ineffective possibly resulting in pregnancy. Alternate methods should be used while on the antibiotics.
- Allergic reactions... for generalized rash, itching, or other reactions, call our office immediately. If we are not available at the time, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Do not hesitate... to call if any questions arise.
In addition to the above instructions, it is important to remember a few additional points if you have received a graft within the socket site after we removed your tooth.
The bone graft is made up of many fine particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. Do not be alarmed by the presence of these small granules. It is completely normal for some granules to become dislodged from the graft site, but there are some things you can do to minimize the amount of granules which become dislodged:
- Do not rinse vigorously or spit for the first 3 to 5 days
- Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area. The material is movable during the initial phases of healing and it is best to leave the area undisturbed as much as possible.
- Do not lift or pull your lip back to look at the sutures. This pulling or stretching can damage the wound, tear sutures and decrease the success of the graft. These sutures may or may not be resorbable. If you have been told that you have received external silk sutures they have to be removed by us. Sometimes your dentist may even place a barrier for the graft which may or may not be resorbable and may have to be removed.
On the first day it is best to let the area settled and allows the blood clot to stabilize the graft material. Therefore, do not even rinse your mouth the first day. After the first day you may begin gentle rinsing with warm salt water, but avoid rinsing vigorously and avoid forced spitting.
Deep gum therapy involves removal of bacteria and plaque that has hardened around the tooth, gum tissue and root structure. Sometimes, calculus acts as an insulator, and with its removal, which is necessary for the health of your mouth, the roots of your teeth become exposed to temperature differences. This can cause some sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages. This should improve over time as your teeth become accustomed to the new environment.
If after your dental hygiene appointment you experience tooth or gum sensitivity, there are several steps which you can follow in order to help alleviate this sensitivity.
- Rinse with warm salt water (1 tsp salt to 1 cup warm water) to increase the blood flow and help with the healing of your gums
- Take Ibuprofen or Tylenol as needed, following the directions on the bottle
- It is very important to continue brushing and flossing at least twice a day; just use lukewarm water
- Try using a toothpaste specified for sensitivity such as "Sensodyne". These toothpastes help block the pain receptor tubules and decrease sensitivity.
- Do continue to eat healthy; you may want to eat a soft-textured diet until sensitivity subsides
- Remember, you have just experienced a much needed "deep cleaning" and it take about one week for the healing to occur and sensitivity to subside.
If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to call our office at (703) 441-2044.
Immediate or Transitional Dentures
These dentures are delivered as soon as the remaining non-restorable teeth are removed. They serve as a bandage to the sockets and help in controlling the bleeding. For the next 24 hours do not remove the dentures from your mouth. Apply firm pressure by biting on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes following the appointment. You may have to repeat this several times. You may apply cold pack externally to control bleeding and swelling. Your immediate dentures will contain the swelling. Take the prescribed pain medication and antibiotics. Do not rinse your mouth vigorously. Restrict your diet to soft and cold foods. It is normal to see your pillow stained with blood. Do not panic. The following morning gently rinse your mouth.
As your sockets heal your dentures will get loose and will need to be adjusted several times. Learning to wear your new dentures (particularly full dentures) is much like learning a new sport. It takes practice and patience. Try not to become discouraged at first. Wear your dentures regularly so your dentist can locate the sore spots when you go in for an adjustment.
You may salivate more when you first get your denture. This is normal and usually stops anywhere from within the first few minutes to a few days. It is important that you practice talking. Talk to yourself, read aloud and sing. You should sound normal within a very short time.
You will also need to practice eating. Do not plan to eat your first meal in public. Cut your food into small bites, eat easy to chew foods and chew slowly. Some people feel more comfortable wearing adhesives under their dentures (particularly full dentures). You can experiment with over the counter adhesives. It is important to make sure you remove the entire adhesive each day when you clean your dentures.
At the end of 3 months your Dentist will reline your denture in house to make them fit tighter. Bone usually takes 365 days to completely heal. At the end of a year your Dentist will send your dentures for a lab reline. It is usually done within a day so be prepared to take a day off.
Transitional dentures are only for the period of gum and bone healing and your Dentist may recommend permanent dentures.
The removable partial or full denture must be removed at least 8 hours each day, preferably at bedtime. Letting the denture stay in the mouth 24 hours a day will cause you to develop sores and fungus under it. It should also be removed and cleaned after meals. When you take it out at bedtime, clean it with a brush and soak it in water, mouthwash or a denture cleaner. Do not let the denture dry out, as this can cause it to warp. When rinsing and brushing your denture over the sink, it is best to place a wash cloth in the basin with some water to cushion the denture should you drop it. The acrylic will break if dropped.
Even if you wear a full denture, it is still important to see your dentist regularly. Your dentures should be checked routinely, along with both the fit and the bite. A poorly fitting denture can cause problems with the underlying tissues and bone loss. You will also be checked for oral cancer and other diseases that can show up in the mouth.
Veneer preparation involves the removal of a small amount of tooth structure. An impression is taken & sent to the lab to fabricate the custom veneers. During this time your Dentist may place temporary veneers on your teeth, Temporary Veneers are made of either acrylic or composite material. They are very fragile and are attached to the underlying tooth structure with temporary cement and can be easily dislodged.
If a veneer comes off, call us and we will replace it immediately. If you are in a situation that will not allow you to come in, place the temporary back in place with some Fixodent™ (denture adhesive) till you can come in. The size, shape, and color of the temporary does not resemble the final veneer.
Temporary veneers may leak saliva or food onto the tooth. Sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure or sweets is not uncommon. Temporary veneers also stain very easily. Avoid heavy brushing of the temporaries and do not floss between them because you may pull them off.
Your permanent porcelain veneers will be as close to the natural teeth as possible. Your Dentist may even send you for custom shading to closely duplicate your adjoining natural teeth.
Permanent porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth using the finest materials. As with natural teeth; avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the veneered teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because the porcelain material can break under extreme forces.
Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are essential to the long-term stability and appearance of your veneers. If not your gums may recede reveal the underlying discolored tooth structure requiring replacement of your veneers.
Pain and sensitivity following teeth whitening is common. You may be sensitive to cold air & fluids; however the pain will fade away within 24-36 hours.
It is important not to consume any colorants in the first 24- hours following the procedure. Anything that colors such as red wine, dark colas, coffee, tea, red sauces, soya sauces and smoking must be avoided.
Following the whitening procedure an instant lightening is usually seen in most cases. However rebound is not uncommon. On an average during the first month there may be loss of one shade unit, another shade unit during the next 6 months and another shade unit during the subsequent six months. Everyone responds differently, so your rebound effect may be less or greater than the averages stated above. Rebound means that after about two years your teeth may have returned to the color prior to bleaching.
Rebound MUST be managed, this is achieved through any combination of:
- Careful diet control avoiding high colorants,
- Meticulous oral hygiene,
- Using a whitening toothpaste
- Using home bleaching trays,
- Annual repeat of the in house teeth whitening.