After your appointment

Anesthetic

  • The area where you had the anesthetic placed may be sore. This soreness may last for a few days.
  • Your lip, tongue, cheek, and/or gums may be numb for a few hours. Use caution when eating on the side that is numb to avoid pain, swelling and damage to the tissue.
  • For children, use extra caution and monitor them closely to prevent them from biting or playing with their lip. Swelling and pain may result if they play with their lip or bite it accidentally while it is still numb.
  • If you have numbness that lasts more than 1 day, please call our office.

Fillings

  • If you have had a silver filling, avoid eating any hard or sticky foods for the rest of the day. It takes a few hours for the filling to harden to its final stage.
  • Fillings on front teeth are the most delicate, because they are placed on the most thin teeth. Avoid biting hard and sticky foods with your front teeth. Keep away from biting out of an apple, corn on the cob, or pizza crust. These types of food can break off front teeth fillings.
  • You can resume brushing twice a day and flossing daily immediately.
  • You may be sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages for up to 3 weeks after a filling has been placed. A tooth is more likely to be sensitive if it had a deeper cavity.
  • If you have pain with biting after a few days, call our office. The filling may need to be adjusted.
  • Your gums may be sore for a few days after treatment, depending on the location of the filling.
  • For pain, take an over the counter medication as directed. Choose an over the counter medication that is appropriate to your dental condition and does not interfere with any medical conditions you may have.
  • If you are experiencing any sensitivity or pain for more than a few weeks, give our office a call at 773-847-6453. Further work may be required.

Extractions

  • Bleeding or minor oozing for next several hours is normal. Bite on the moist cotton gauze for an hour and then replace it every hour with a fresh one or a wet tea bag. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after that, contact us.
  • Pain is normal after surgery. Any pain medicine you may have at home may be taken for minor pain, but moderate to severe pain may be alleviated by a prescription from the doctor.
  • Swelling is normal after surgery and there are ways to help keep it to a minimum. Starting today, place an ice pack (a small plastic bag with ice) on your face over the area of surgery for 20 to 30 minutes on and 20 to 30 minutes off, continuously, until bedtime tonight. If you do not have an ice pack, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables, etc. Stay cool and comfortable — avoid hot showers, hot kitchens, prolonged periods in the sun, etc.
  • Avoid all tobacco products, alcohol (including many mouthwashes) and hydrogen peroxide for 7 days. These will only slow down the healing process.
  • Avoid negative pressure (drinking through straws, taking deep puffs when smoking, etc.) since this may cause the newly formed blood clot to come loose causing a dry socket.
  • Eat whatever feels comfortable to you. Plenty of fluids (water, juices, milk, sports drinks, etc.) and soft foods (soup, mashed potatoes, Jell-O®, etc.) are easier to consume the first day or so.
  • Rinsing must begin tomorrow. Mix 1 cup of warm water with half-teaspoon salt and rinse your mouth after every meal/snack for 7 days.
  • Brush and floss as normal, being careful in the area of surgery for a few days.

Taking Medications

  • Pain Relievers are to be taken as directed only as needed for pain. It may be a good idea to take the first dose before the numbness wears off. This medication might make you feel nauseous, drowsy or constipated. If these or any other reaction is making you uncomfortable, please call us.
  • Antibiotics fight against infection and must be started today until all the medicine is finished. Follow directions as prescribed, but call us if the medication is making you uncomfortable. ? Women: Oral contraceptives may lose effectiveness with antibiotics, so use alternative methods of birth control for now.

Crowns and bridges

  • Your gums may be sore for a few days. During the impression for your crown or bridge, your gums may have had a string pushed up against it to get the most accurate impression. This may cause discomfort after the anesthetic wears off.
  • If you have a temporary crown or bridge placed, use extreme caution eating with it. Avoid sticky and hard foods. If possible avoid eating in the area until you have your permanent restoration.
  • Brush twice a day like normal. Avoid flossing directly in front and behind the temporary crown and bridge.
  • If your temporary crown or bridge falls off, contact our office. To protect the tooth and ensure a proper fitting final restoration, it is important to maintain the temporary restoration in your mouth properly.
  • Your permanent crown or bridge may be sensitive to hot and cold for a few weeks. If you find pain with biting or eating for more than a few weeks, contact our office.
  • Avoid sticky or hard foods for a couple hours after the final crown or bridge has been cemented. It takes a couple hours for the cement to reach its final stage.

Dentures

  • It may take several weeks to be accustomed to your new denture. It is important to wear your denture regularly and take them out at night. You are always welcome to set up an appointment for an adjustment of your new denture, as sore spots may develop.
  • Eating with dentures. Don’t panic if you feel that food has “lost its flavor.” Right now, your mind is receiving strong signals from your mouth about your dentures, which overpower the messages from your taste buds. After you get accustomed to dentures, your mind will find a better balance and your sense of taste will improve.
  • As you adjust to new dentures, you might have trouble sensing hot foods and drinks. This is common. But be careful; you don’t want to burn your mouth.
  • When you put food in your mouth, chew half of it on the back-left side of your mouth and the other half on the back-right side. This will even out the pressure on your dentures.
  • Start with soft foods. Some good examples are eggs, fish, chopped meat, cooked vegetables, and puddings. As you gain more experience and confidence with dentures, try eating chewier foods, such as steak or celery.
  • Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling dentures.
  • Brush and rinse your dentures daily. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food and plaque. Brushing also helps prevent the development of permanent stains on the dentures. Use a brush with soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush as it can damage or wear down dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the denture and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. In between brushings, rinse your dentures after every meal.
  • Clean with a denture cleaner. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleansers and many toothpastes may be too abrasive for your dentures and should not be used. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to care for dentures. These cleaners are small bathtub-like devices that contain a cleaning solution. The denture is immersed in the tub and then sound waves create a wave motion that dislodges the undesirable deposits. Use of an ultrasonic cleaner, however, does not replace a thorough daily brushing. Products with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance are recommended since they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
  • Denture care when not being worn. Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. However, if your denture has metal attachments, the attachments could tarnish if placed in a soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the best methods for caring for your particular denture. Dentures should never be placed in hot water, as it can cause them to warp.

Deep Cleaning/Scaling and Root Planing

  • Your gums might be sore and bleed after a scaling and root planing (deep cleaning). You may notice extra bleeding, especially when brushing and flossing. The bleeding and soreness should subside after a couple weeks.
  • Brush twice a day and floss daily as instructed.
  • For added comfort, you may rinse with warm salt water for a couple days.
  • Make sure to return as directed by your dentist to return for your periodontal visit. This is a follow up appointment typically scheduled between 6 weeks and 3 months after your deep cleaning procedure. During your periodontal maintenance visit, we will assess how well your gums healed and determine how ofter you should come in to maintain or improve your gum health.

Root Canals

  • For the first few days following the completion of a root canal, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure.
  • Take any medications recommended by your dentist as directed.
  • Until your root canal has been completed and the tooth has been reconstructed with a buildup and crown, avoid eating with the tooth and stay away from hard and sticky foods. The tooth is not fully protected until all three procedures (root canal, buildup, and crown) have been completed.
  • You may have a temporary filling in your tooth after a root canal procedure. Use extreme caution eating with that tooth to avoid the tooth from breaking or the temporary filling from falling out.