Home Care Instructions
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
Crowns and bridges usually take two appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and impressions of the teeth 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.
Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us at 419-419-3334 or toll free at 888-787-4808 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), 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 on the floss which may dislodge the temporary but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.
It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office.
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 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
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.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office at 419-419-3334 or toll free at 888-787-4808 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, 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 dental 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.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 419-419-3334 or toll free at 888-787-4808.
After Composite Fillings (white fillings)
When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and consuming hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb.
It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one or two tablets every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office at 419-419-3334 or toll free at 888-787-4808.
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.
After Completion of Endodontic Treatment
Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. Most often the outer surface is sealed with a permanent restoration. Occasionally, we will place a temporary restoration if necessary. Sometimes a recall is needed to evaluate the progress of healing. This recall appointment is included in your treatment and will require only a few minutes.
You should chew on the other side until the dentist has placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, Dr. Nigro or Dr. Ellinger may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. The doctors will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.
What should I expect following endodontic treatment?
The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned and the irritated tissue and bacteria that have caused you to need root canal treatment are gone.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time.
These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to following these instructions specifically:
Please take: Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) 200mg tablets
3 tablets (600mg total) 3-4 times a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and if necessary at Bedtime) Please take this as needed for the next 4-7 days or as directed by Dr. Nigro or Dr. Ellinger.
If you are allergic, have medical conditions or are taking prescribed medicine that prevents you from taking Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) then Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is typically indicated unless otherwise specified by your physician.
Please take: Tylenol Extra-Strength (Aspirin Free) 500mg tablets
2 tablets (1000mg total) 3 times a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).
Please take this as needed for the next 4–7 days or as directed by Dr. Nigro or Dr. Ellinger.
Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than 4-5 days, please contact our office at 419-419-3334 or toll free at 888-787-4808.
Guidelines for Post-Treatment Care
Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it permanently restored by the dentist.
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, please contact our office at 419-419-3334 or toll free at 888-787-4808.
Contact our office immediately if you develop any of the following:
- a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth
- an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction)
- a return of the original symptoms
- your bite feels uneven
Taking Care of Your Tooth
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success. Contact our office within two weeks to arrange your next appointment.