Post-Op Caring

So you’ve completed your treatment… now it’s time to take care of yourself. Learn how by clicking on the treatment you received below:

Crown

(Porcelain-fused-to-Metal/Gold/All-Ceramic)
We have placed a “state-of-the-art” dental restoration on your tooth. This restoration was placed using the finest materials and techniques available in dentistry today. Our entire staff takes extra pride to insure that your restoration will provide you with many years of enjoyable function and beautiful smiles. We want to provide you with some information that my help you protect them and keep them looking beautiful as long as possible.

Sensitivity: You may experience some hot/cold sensitivity as well as chewing sensitivity. This is not unusual with newly placed restorations. The sensitivity should subside within 2-4 weeks. If you notice the bite is high and does not feel right, please call us to have it adjusted as soon as possible. The teeth can also be sore after the restoration is placed secondary to the cementation/delivery procedure.

Chewing: Porcelain/ceramic crowns, although possibly as strong as your natural teeth, can chip or break if abused. We, therefore, recommend that you avoid materials that have been responsible for breaking natural teeth such as chewing ice, biting fingernails or “bobby pins”, eating hard candy, or chewing on chicken or rib bones. We also ask that you avoid extremely hot or cold foods and drinks, chewing and flossing in the newly restored area for 24 hours after cementation.

Grinding: If you find you grind your teeth—or there is a suspicion that grinding is occurring—either at night while sleeping or during a daytime activity such as work or sports, we may recommend that you have a custom mouth guard made to protect your new teeth.

Brushing: Always use a soft toothbrush and avoid abrasive toothpaste such as “smoker’s” toothpaste or baking soda toothpaste. This abrasive toothpaste can scratch and damage your new restorations as well as damage your natural teeth.

Fluoride: If porcelain crowns were placed, do not use stannous fluoride or Acidulated Phosphate Fluoride products. Many dentists and hygienists recommend products such as Omni Med or Gel-Kam, to help those individuals with sensitive or cavity prone teeth. These products can actually etch the porcelain and decrease the surface smoothness of the restoration. Always tell the hygienist you have porcelain restorations when you have your teeth cleaned. If the hygienist recommends a fluoride gel or rinse, make sure it is a neutral sodium fluoride such as Prevident or Fortify.

Roughness: If you feel a rough edge on your new restoration, do not pick at it. Call the office to have the doctor adjust or smooth it.

Creating beautiful smiles is a specialty of ours. Not only is it rewarding for our patients, but also we enjoy the feeling we receive when we can improve someone’s smile and the way they feel about themselves. We appreciate the referrals you send our way and we know that your friends and family will appreciate you caring about them.

Temporary

A temporary is a filling or crown that is placed until the permanent restoration is fabricated and ready to cement. It is normal for the gum around your tooth to be a little sore when the anesthesia wears off. This will dissipate within a few days. Do your best to chew on the opposite side of your mouth until your next appointment. To minimize your risk of dislodging your temporary(s) avoid chewing sticky foods and flossing around the prepared tooth. It is not uncommon to have the following reactions or problems with the temporary.

  • It feels rough: Please call us if it is making the tongue sensitive.
  • It came off: This is probably the most common problem. A temporary is supposed to come off easily so it can be replaced by the permanent restoration. It is important for the temporary to remain in place until the permanent is delivered. If it becomes dislodged please call us so we can cement it again. You can try to affix the temporary with denture adhesive or toothpaste until you can get in to see us.
  • It feels high: Come in so we can adjust it. You can bruise a tooth if it is high.
  • It is not how I want the permanent to look: Do not worry, the permanent will look much better.
  • It is sensitive: The temporary will not always fit as well as the permanent will, so there may be some sensitivity to hot and cold as well as chewing. If it is too uncomfortable, please call.
  • Extractions

    (care of your mouth after an extraction)
    DO NOT RINSE MOUTH, SMOKE OR DRINK THROUGH A STRAW for the remainder of the day. Tomorrow, gently rinse mouth every 3-4 hours, especially after meals, using ¼ to 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue rinses for several days.

    Bleeding: Following any minor surgical procedure, some bleeding is expected. Your saliva may have a slight pink tinge for 1-2 days. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over bleeding area and bite down firmly for ½ hour. Repeat if necessary. A regular tea bag can substitute for gauze.

    Swelling: Apply an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of your face over the operated area for 15 minutes; then remove for 15 minutes. Repeat this for the first 4-6 hours after the procedure. This will keep the swelling and discoloration to a minimum. Note: if a bone graft was placed, the swelling may be worse the third day. Bruising is normal for any surgical procedure.

    Discomfort: To relieve any discomfort, use the medication prescribed by the doctor or, if you prefer, the doctor can recommend an over-the-counter medication for you. In most cases a non-narcotic pain regimen will be given consisting of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Advil). These two medications, taken together, will be as effective as a narcotic without any of the side effects associated with narcotics (such as drowsiness).

    Diet: Do not chew on the side of the surgical site. A light to mild diet is recommended during the first 24 hours. Do not eat anything too hot, cold, or spicy.

    Bony edges: Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots. If annoying, return to the office and we’ll remove them in a very simple procedure.

    If any unusual symptoms occur, call the office at once, anytime, 24 hours a day.

    Inlay and Onlay

    We have just recommended that your tooth be restored with an inlay or onlay. What is it? And why are we recommending it?

    An inlay/onlay is a laboratory-fabricated restoration that is constructed of processed composite-resin, metal, or porcelain and is cemented or bonded to the tooth. It can be considered a more conservative way of restoring a tooth that would otherwise require a crown. An inlay replaces the structure within the cusps of a tooth whereas an onlay includes at least one of the cusps of a tooth.

    We prescribe this type of restoration when a tooth cannot be restored with a directly placed restoration (such as a crown or filling). An inlay and onlay can provide strength to the tooth because, unlike conventional fillings, they are cemented or bonded to the tooth, thereby strengthening the existing tooth structure.

    INSURANCE COMPANIES DO NOT ALWAYS PROVIDE BENEFITS FOR INLAYS/ONLAYS. KEEP IN MIND THAT THEY LOOK FOR THE LEAST COSTLY ALTERNATIVE, WHICH MAY NOT NECESSARILY BE THE BEST ONE FOR THE PATIENT. MANY TIMES, YOU WILL ONLY BE REIMBURSED AT THE CORRESPONDING RATE OF A CONVENTIONAL FILLING. WE STRIVE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH LONG-TERM RESULTS – NOT QUICK FIXES – WHICH WILL RESULT IN SAVING YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN.

    The inlay and onlay treatment sequence entails a minimum of 2 office visits: the first is to take an impression and prepare the tooth; the second is for cementation/delivery.

    • Occasionally, there may be some sensitivity after placement of these restorations. If, after an adequate adjustment period, you find that sensitivity has not subsided, we may recommend a crown for that tooth.

    Bonded Restorations

    We’ve placed a “state-of-the-art” dental restoration on your tooth. This restoration was placed using the finest materials and techniques available in dentistry today. Our entire staff takes extra pride to insure that your restoration will provide you with many years of enjoyable function and beautiful smiles. We want to provide you with some information that my help you protect them and keep them looking beautiful as long as possible.

    Sensitivity: You may experience some hot/cold sensitivity as well as chewing sensitivity. This is not unusual with newly placed restorations. The sensitivity should subside within 2-4 weeks. If you notice the bite is high and does not feel right, please call us to have it adjusted as soon as possible. The teeth can also be sore after the restoration is placed secondary to the cementation/delivery procedure.

    Chewing: Porcelain/ceramic composite restorations, although possibly as strong as your natural teeth, can chip or break if abused. We, therefore, recommend that you avoid materials that have been responsible for breaking natural teeth such as chewing ice, biting fingernails or “bobby pins”, eating hard candy, or chewing on chicken or rib bones. We also ask that you avoid extremely hot or cold foods and drinks, chewing and flossing in the newly restored area for 24 hours after cementation.

    Grinding: If you grind your teeth – or there is suspicion that grinding is occurring, we may recommend that you wear a custom-made mouth guard to protect your new teeth.

    Brushing: Always use a soft toothbrush and avoid abrasive toothpaste such as “smoker’s” toothpaste or baking soda toothpaste. This abrasive toothpaste can scratch and damage your new restorations as well as damage your natural teeth.

    Fluoride: If porcelain crowns were placed, do not use stannous fluoride or Acidulated Phosphate Fluoride products. Many dentists and hygienists recommend products such as Omni Med or Gel-Kam, to help those individuals with sensitive or cavity prone teeth. These products can actually etch the porcelain and decrease the surface smoothness of the restoration. Always tell the hygienist you have porcelain restorations when you have your teeth cleaned. If the hygienist recommends a fluoride gel or rinse, make sure it is a neutral sodium fluoride such as Prevident or Fortify.

    Roughness: If you feel a rough edge on your new restoration, do not pick at it. Call the office to have the doctor adjust or smooth it.

    Creating beautiful smiles is a specialty of ours. Not only is it rewarding for our patients, but we take great pride in knowing that we can improve someone’s smile and restore their self-confidence.

    Porcelain Veneers

    Porcelain Veneers are the latest in the state-of-the-art world of cosmetic dentistry, which will allow you to have that “Hollywood” smile for many years. Studies from prominent universities have shown that a beautiful smile is one of the most important features of one’s self-image. The studies proved that when people meet those with a beautiful smile, they feel these people are more honest, more successful, and more pleasant to have around than those without one. One study even showed that when two individuals interviewing for the same job, both wearing the same clothing and each having the same job credentials, the individual with the “Hollywood” smile was more likely to get the job and receive a higher starting salary. Readers of a Health & Fitness magazine survey rated a beautiful smile, as the only physical trait mandatory when determining if a person is attractive.

    We have placed provisional (temporary) veneers on your teeth today. These may feel a bit rough around the edges. Although we try to make your provisional veneers look as nice as possible, they are not an indication of what your final veneers will look like. The length will be similar, but the final shape, color and contour may be different since the lab’s dental technician has a greater control of the outcome because of the high strength of the porcelain material used.

    Your teeth that were prepared for the veneers may become sensitive to cold. This is normal and will subside once the permanent veneers are in place. Limit or avoid drinking cold liquids. Following are some tips to help you care for your veneers:

    Avoid exposing your porcelain veneers to excessive forces: Porcelain veneers are not intended to have to withstand heavy forces or sharp impacts. You should avoid biting your fingernails or biting on hairpins, bottles, ice, or any other hard items because doing so can break or dislodge a veneer. If you engage in sporting events you should wear an athletic mouth guard.

    Minimize staining influences: Porcelain veneers are bonded onto your tooth using cement, which is capable of picking up stain over time. It is possible that a veneer itself will still have a nice appearance but at its edges, where the cement holding the veneer in place exists, staining will have occurred. Try avoiding excessive use of tobacco products, red wine, coffee, and tea.

    Maintenance: To ensure that your gums remain healthy, brush gently, but thoroughly, twice daily follow by the Peridex rinse that we’ve given you. To use the rinse, dip two cotton swabs into the rinse and massage around your veneers at the gum line. With the small, cotton-tipped syringe we have given you, carefully fill it with hydrogen peroxide and use twice daily where the veneers meet the gums.

    Our goal, as always, is to provide you with the highest quality care possible. We know the many choices you have for a dental provider so we’re always striving to make your visit as comfortable and as efficient possible. Your trust is never taken for granted. Please, NEVER hesitate to let us know if there is anything more that we can do.

    Laser Therapy

    Treatment with the dental laser is very different from conventional surgical dental procedures. It can frequently be used for crown lengthening, soft tissue biopsies, frenectomies and to treat some types of periodontal disease. The laser emits concentrated energy in the form of a light beam, which removes the necessary tissues and cauterizes the surgical site simultaneously. As a result there is little or no bleeding and sutures are not needed.

    After your procedure, you may experience a little discomfort, similar to a small ulcer. Normally, little to no discomfort is experienced in the first few days and slight soreness will be present after the protective covering generated by the laser treatment is removed (this is the slightly rough, dark covering you notice immediately after your procedure). If any mild discomfort should occur, over the counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol will be appropriate to take. If prolonged discomfort should occur please call 703-337-4272 to speak with us.

    Avoid using your toothbrush on the laser-treated side of your mouth. Instead, use the Peridex liquid given to you in the small brown bottle. Lightly apply the liquid with 2 Q-tips in a swabbing motion. Do this 2-3 times each day or during the times you brush your teeth.

    Avoid eating hard, crunchy, sharp foods such as pretzels, corn or potato chips and popcorn after your procedure. Stick to a soft, mild diet; do not chew on the laser-treated side of your mouth.

    As always, our goal is to provide you with the highest quality dental care possible. It is important to us that we maintain a trusting relationship with you…our patient. If there is anything we can do to make your dental experience more comfortable, please do not hesitate to let us know.