HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS
At our dental office in Arnold, MO, we prioritize making sure our patients feel cared for and competent in all after care efforts. For your ease, we have compiled all of our home care instructions below.
AFTER TOOTH EXTRACTION
Following tooth extraction, a blood clot must form to stop bleeding and begin the healing process. To help the clot form, we ask that you bite down on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after your appointment. Should bleeding or oozing persist, bite down on a fresh gauze pad and bite firmly for an additional 30 minutes.
You may have to repeat the process more than once. Our office will provide you with gauze to take home, but it is best to prepare ahead and have some gauze on hand following your appointment.
Once the blood clot has formed, it must remain in place. Do not rinse, spit vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. All of these activities have the potential to dislodge or dissolve the clot and impede the healing process. A dislodged clot can result in a painful condition called “dry socket.”
Vigorous exercise should be avoided for at least 24 hours. Exercising increases blood pressure and can cause further bleeding at the extraction site. For the first 24 hours, drink plenty of fluids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Normal eating can resume when you feel comfortable.
Following an extraction, you will experience some pain and swelling. Ice packs, frozen peas, and frozen corn can be applied to the area to limit swelling. Take all pain medications as prescribed. Swelling typically subsides after 48 hours.
If antibiotics are prescribed, take them for the full prescribed course. Even if signs and symptoms are gone, full antibiotic treatment is still necessary.
Resume your standard dental routine after 24 hours have passed. Brush and floss your teeth at least one time each day.
Adhering to a dental hygiene routine will speed healing and keep your oral health in great shape. Avoid brushing or touching the extraction site until healing is complete. Healing is typically achieved within 14 days of an extraction.
2-3 days after your extraction, you may resume your normal activities. If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, swelling increases, or a medication reaction, contact our office immediately or visit your local emergency room, urgent care, or health care provider.
AFTER COSMETIC RECONSTRUCTION
Following a cosmetic reconstruction, you will have to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When your bite is altered or the position of your teeth changes, it can take days to feel normal. If this feeling persists past 3-5 days, contact our office.
After your reconstruction, you may experience hot and cold sensitivity. Teeth require time to heal after a cosmetic dental treatment. Teeth and gums may feel sensitive and sore for several days to a one week after a procedure.
Our dental team recommends warm salt water rinses to combat discomfort. To rinse, combine a TSP of salt in one cup of warm water, and swish gently 3 times per day. Salt water rinses help with pain and swelling, but you may also require a mild pain medication. One tablet of Tylenol or Motrin every 3-4 hours should ease residual discomfort.
Your speech patterns may be affected for the first few days. This is not a permanent change. Your teeth and gums will adapt and will speak normally soon after your procedure. You may notice increased salivation along with impacted speech.
An increase in saliva production is used to essentially lubricate and ease the transition between your previous bite and your new bite. Saliva production should be regulated in about one week.
Daily brushing and flossing are essential to maintain your new smile. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth. We also recommend regular cleaning appointments with our office. Visiting the dentist will help maintain your oral health and recovery and contribute to overall health.
Foods that can crack, chip, or otherwise damage a natural tooth are able to damage your new teeth. Avoid consuming hard foods and substances, including beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, and pencils, and sticky foods like candy and gum. Smoking stains teeth and should be avoided. To maintain new teeth, minimize or avoid staining foods such as coffee, red wine, tea, and berries.
If you engage in sports, let our office know during the planning phase of your treatment plan. We will create a custom mouthguard to protect your new grin. We also offer custom mouthguards for night-time grinding.
Adjusting to the look at feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any questions or concerns about your state of the art reconstruction, do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We welcome your questions and want to make sure your smile meets all of your expectations.
AFTER CROWN AND BRIDGE APPOINTMENTS
Dental crowns and bridges usually take two to three appointments to complete. During your first visit, hygienists and dentists will take molds of your mouth and prepare your teeth for the procedure. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed on your first visit. Temporary devices protect prepared teeth while custom restorations are being created.
Since teeth are anesthetized during this process, your tongue, lips, and palate may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has dissipated.
Occasionally, a temporary crown will come off before the permanent crown can be placed. If this occurs, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Bring the crown to your appointment to have it re-cemented. Temporary crowns are a vital part of the process, as they make sure your teeth remain in place prior to placing the permanent crown.
To lessen the risk of losing a temporary crown or bridge, avoid eating sticky foods and hard foods. Whenever possible, chew on the side of your mouth opposite your temporary placements. Brush normally to remove plaque and tartar, but floss carefully and avoid tugging up on the floss to avoid accidentally removing your crown.
Temperature and pressure sensitivity are to be expected after appointments. Sensitivity will subside within a few weeks after your permanent crowns or bridges have been placed. Mild pain medications may also be used (as directed by our office).
Should you feel misalignment of your teeth or should pain persist past what has been discussed by your provider, contact our office for further evaluation.
AFTER COMPOSITE FILLINGS (WHITE FILLINGS)
When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for up to several hours following your appointment. Refrain from chewing and consuming any hot beverages until the numbness has subsided. Eating and drinking hot liquids while numb can lead to bite wounds or burns.
Hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity are normal following a composite filling. The site of injection may also be sore. Motrin, Tylenol, and aspirin work well to alleviate the tenderness you may feel. You may follow company recommendations for use.
Should pressure or hot and cold sensitivity extend beyond a few days following your procedure, contact our office.
You may safely chew with your composite fillings as soon as your anesthetic has worn off. Fillings are fully set by the time you leave our office. If your bite feels uneven, you experience persistent pain, or you have any questions about your procedure, please do not hesitate to contact our office for further instructions or evaluation.