Home Dental Care Instructions
Dental Crowns, White Fillings & Cosmetic Dentistry in Winston-Salem
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After Cosmetic Reconstruction
Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When your occlusion (bite) is altered or the position of the teeth is changed it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal. If you continue to detect any “high” spots or problems with your bite, call our office at (336) 765-1881 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.
It is normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and may be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Rinsing with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (Tylenol or Ibuprofen) used as needed should ease any residual discomfort.
Daily brushing and flossing is critical for the long-term success of your restorations, as are regular cleaning appointments.
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 nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils) and sticky candies. Smoking can also stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea and berries.
If you engage in contact sports please let us know as you may benefit from the protection provided by a custom mouthguard. Additionally, it you have been diagnosed with a tooth grinding habit (bruxism) be sure to wear your night guard while sleeping.
Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile can take time. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. We are always here to help!
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and impressions 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.
Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us at (336) 765-1881 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. Instead, 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.
If your bite feels uneven or if you have persistent pain please call 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 swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen vegetables 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 our office at 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 foods 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 three times a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after 2-3 days, or are having a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at (336) 765-1881.
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 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 as recommended 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.
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.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (336) 765-1881.