Home Care 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 as normal. 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 (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (one tablet of Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) every 3-4 hours) should ease any residual discomfort.
Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. You may notice increased salivation. This is because your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside to normal in about a week.
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.
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, or pencils) and 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 your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you. 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 and Bridge Appointments
Crowns and bridges usually take two or three 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 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), 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 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 305 248 0027.
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 stunt 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 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.
I have pain in the extracted tooth area 2-days after extraction! What is wrong?
The most common complication related to extractions is called a dry socket. Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed. It manifest itself as a dull throbbing pain, which appears two to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site may appear dry and red. If you believe you are experience a dry socket please call us to have you evaluated. In most cases we can help speed up the healing and relieve your pain.
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 medications, call our office immediately at 305 248 0027
After Composite Fillings (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 lip while you are numb.
It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. 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, since they 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 Homestead Dental Phone Number 305-248-0027.
After Dental Implant Placement
Once the implant is placed you will easily be able to see it inside your mouth. Since it is a foreign body the implant does require a clean environment in order to heal properly. In that regard, much of the success of the implant will depend on you. Proper care of your mouth will aid in the healing process and reduce the possibility of complications.
At first you my experience some swelling – ice packs will keep swelling and/or bruising to a minimum. You may also have some discomfort – please take all medications prescribed by the doctor as instructed. This will not only relieve any pain but will also prevent infections. Bleeding should be minimal yet we still 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. Do not attempt to floss, brush or water-pik in the area of surgery for the first two weeks. Keep your mouth clean with warm water rinses. Smoking should be avoided for at least two weeks following surgery. Smoking has been shown to negatively affect the healing process. Finally stitches will be removed in 7-10 days, as deemed necessary by the doctor. Should you notice any swelling, redness or discomfort in the area of the implant after the healing phase, please call us right away at 305 248 0027.
After Tooth Whitening
After experiencing the revolutionary tooth whitening procedure by Zoom!® Whitening the next 48 hours are important in enhancing and maximizing your whitening results for a long lasting, bright and healthy smile.
At first your teeth may be sensitive. This is a very common side effect and usually goes away within a day or two. To help with the sensitivity you may use Sensodine toothpaste or take 2 tablets of Ibuprofen or Tylenol as needed. If the sensitivity continues for more than 2 days please call our office. Observe your gums. You may notice areas where they are white. Those areas (if present) should be minimal and should not cause any significant discomfort. If you have pain in your gums or a large portion of them are white, please call us immediately at 305 248 0027.
For the next 48 hours, dark staining substances should be avoided, such as:
- Coffee and/ or tea
- Tobacco products
- Mustard or ketchup
- Red wine
- Soy sauce
- Berry pie
- Red sauces
Additional ways to maintain your sparkling Zoom!® White Smile:
- Avoid staining related habits.
- Seek regular professional dental hygiene care to maintain oral health, keep staining to minimum and determine the need for whitening touch-ups.
- In addition, continue to practice good oral hygiene including thorough tooth brushing, flossing to remove debris from between the teeth and tongue cleaning. At Homestead Dental we will assist you in selecting the products to maintain not only a white smile, but a healthy one as well!
After Root Canal Treatment
The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, and the irritated tissue and bacteria that have caused you to need root canal treatment are gone.It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time.
These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important to follow Dr. Chakalov’s individualized aftercare instructions. Remember, narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous or driving a car after taking them.
The discomfort you are experiencing should resolve in the next few days where each consecutive day should be better than the one before. If this is not the case, please call us for an evaluation. If you notice persistent swelling which is also migrating toward your neck please call Dr. Chakalov immediately – this may be a serious complication requiring immediate attention. Please remember your root canal treatment is not complete until a final restoration is placed on the tooth. You must return as soon as possible to have the final restoration (such as crown or bridge) made or you risk fracture of the tooth and eventual extraction.
What the Future Holds?
The tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as your other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.
We will periodically see you for follow-ups that will include taking x-rays of the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred. Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or pain continues. At times, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, repeating the endodontic procedure can save the tooth.