After Cosmetic Reconstruction
After undergoing cosmetic reconstruction of your smile, remember the following:
- Bite – It will take time for you to adjust to the new position or thickness of your bite. If you experience discomfort after a few days, be sure to call our office to schedule an adjustment.
- Sensitivity – As your teeth and gums heal, you may be prone to sensitivity. Rinsing with warm salt water three times a day may reduce your discomfort. Additionally, a mild pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be taken to minimize any remaining discomfort.
- Speech – After a reconstruction, your brain needs time to adjust to the new size and shape of your teeth, so there is no need to be concerned if your speech is affected for a couple of days. Your speech should return to normal within a week.
- Care – Your dentist will give you personalized instructions for caring for your mouth immediately after a procedure. Keep in mind that brushing, flossing, and regular dental appointments are necessary to keep your new smile healthy.
- Food – Anything that can harm your natural teeth can also harm your new smile. Avoid chewing hard substances or sticky candies to keep your teeth beautiful. Minimize your intake of foods that stain, such as coffee, curries, and berries.
- Activity – If you are involved in sports or tend to grind your teeth at night, let us know so we can create a custom mouth guard that will help maintain your new smile.
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
Crowns and bridges take two to three visits to complete. At the first visit, we will take molds of your mouth in order to create a customized restoration. In the meantime, you will be given temporary crowns or bridges to protect your teeth while you wait for your permanent restoration to be made. Keep the following in mind after temporaries or permanent crowns or bridges are placed:
- Sensitivity – You may experience temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity will pass after the placement of your final restoration. In the meantime, you may use over-the-counter pain medications as directed by our office.
- Breaks – If your temporary crown breaks off, we can re-cement it at our office. If this happens, contact our office as soon as possible, as your temporary crown is not just aesthetic; it prevents your other teeth from moving while you wait for your final restoration.
- Care – You must care for your temporaries just as you would your natural teeth. When flossing, avoid pulling up on the floss, otherwise you may dislodge your temporary crown.
- Food – While you wear temporaries, avoid sticky foods and hard foods. If at all possible, chew on the side of your mouth that is not being restored.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, you will be required to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes to stop the bleeding. If a blood clot does not form and stop the bleeding, you may need to repeat the process several times. After the extraction site has clotted, use the following tips to care for your mouth:
- Sensitivity – After an extraction, you may experience pain and swelling. An ice pack and prescribed pain medications will help these symptoms subside.
- Care – After the extraction site clots, it is important to avoid disturbing the clot. Do not smoke, drink alcohol, use straws, or brush near the site for 72 hours. You must also limit vigorous exercise, as it may cause the site to start bleeding and delay healing. Be sure to take your full course of antibiotics – even if there are no signs of infection and your extraction site appears to be healing well.
- Food – On the day of the extraction, drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft foods such as yogurt or applesauce. Once the pain has subsided and your gums begin to heal, you may return to your normal eating routine.
After Composite Fillings (Tooth-Colored Fillings)
To retain the natural beauty of your smile, we will use composite fillings that can be matched to the color of your teeth. After composite fillings, be mindful of the following:
- Sensitivity – If an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours. Avoid eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has worn off, or you may unintentionally harm your tongue or lips. You may also experience temperature sensitivity or tenderness at the injection site. If these symptoms do not pass within a few days, contact our office.
- Food – When you leave our office, your composite fillings will be fully set. Feel free to eat and drink as normal as soon as the numbness has worn off.