After most routine dental work (fillings, veneers etc.):
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 (two or three Ibuprofen tablets every 4 hours) should ease any residual discomfort.
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 work, as are regular cleaning appointments.
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. 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. If you engage in sports let us know so we can make a custom mouth guard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you
After Crown and Bridge Treatment:
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.
On rare occasion, a temporary crown may come off. Call us at 707-542-2881 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), candy, 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 or down on the floss which may dislodge the temporary. Rather, pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown when done
It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside within a day or two 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 707-542-2881
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 20 -30 minutes after the appointment. If active bleeding still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. It is rare to persist longer than this. Minor oozing of blood is normal for the first 8 hours and not to be confused with active bleeding…
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.
Dr. Wilburn recommends taking 600 mg of ibuprofen every four hours after an extraction for up to three days. He also will most likely give you a prescription for a narcotic pain med which can be taken along with the ibuprofen if necessary.
Antibiotics may also be prescribed by Dr. Wilburn. 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 brushing 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. Of course, be extra gentle in the extraction site area.
After a few days you should feel fine and can resume all normal activities. If you have persistent active bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or any abnormal reaction to any medications, please call our office immediately at 707-542-2881.
After Root Canal Therapy
After root canal therapy it is normal to experience slight discomfort for a few days. 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.
It is normal to experience some pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside within a few weeks after the root canal treatment is completed. Mild pain medications may also be used. We recommend taking Ibuprofen, which is available over the counter, and without a prescription, under the generic name Ibuprofen or the brand names Advil or Motrin. This medicine works best if taken before the discomfort begins and not on an empty stomach. Take three, 200mg pills, ever four to six hours as needed, up to three days after treatment.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent discomfort, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 707-542-2881.
After Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing usually takes multiple appointments to complete. Most of the time, we treat one quarter of the mouth at one appointment. In some cases, we may treat one half of the mouth at an appointment. Most of the time, it is necessary to anesthetize the teeth and gums and therefore it is important to be cautious after treatment. Please avoid chewing food until feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue, cheeks or lips. In addition, smoking should be avoided for at least 72 hours following these procedures.
Scaling and root planing helps your mouth and gums feel better, but following treatment, slight discomfort may be observed. If anesthesia is used, injections sites may also be sore. Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually associated with slight aching; this discomfort usually dissipates within a few hours. Also, it is common for teeth to be sensitive to temperature changes and/or sweets. This sensitivity to temperature may be noticeable during the first several days and usually diminishes quickly thereafter. Sometimes cold sensitivity persists and a desensitizing tooth paste may be prescribed to diminish the discomfort.
We recommend taking Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or Aspirin (2-3 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed for pain) to alleviate the tenderness. Daily brushing and flossing are a must to maintain the health of your gum tissue. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your periodontal health, as are regular cleaning appointments.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 707-542-2881.