Home Care Instructions

After Cosmetic Dental Reconstruction

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite.  When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed, it may take several days to get used to the feel of the new position and thickness of the teeth.  If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office at 423-929-7146 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

It is normal to experience some hot or cold sensitivity initially.  The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and may be somewhat sensitive.  Your gums may also be sore for a few days.  Rinsing with warm salt water three times a day will help reduce discomfort and inflamation.  A mild pain medication (Tylenol or Ibuprofen as directed) should ease any residual discomfort that you may experience at first.

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 teeth, as are regular appointments with your dental hygienist.

Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your newly restored teeth.  Avoid very hard foods, chewing on ice or pencils, and sticky candies.

Our office can provide you with a protective mouth guard if you engage in sports activities, have a “heavy” bite or tend to grind your teeth at night.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your new dental work.

After Crown and Bridgework

Crown and bridgework appointments generally take two or three appointments to complete.  At first visit, the teeth are prepared so that they are able to support the new restoration, followed by an impression (mold).  Temporary crowns or bridgework are placed to protect the teeth while a dental laboratory is fabricating the final restoration.

Occasionally a temporary crown or bridge may loosen.  It is important for this temporary restoration to remain in place as is prevents other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.  To aid in keeping your temporary restoration in place:

  • Avoid eating sticky foods and chewing gum.
  • Avoid heavy chewing in this area.
  • Brush normally but gently in this area.
  • Floss carefully by gently pulling floss out from the side instead of “pulling up” on the floss between the teeth.

Please call our office at 423-929-7146 if you have a problem with a loosened temporary restoration so that we can recement it as soon as possible.

It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after your preparation appointment.  Mild, over-the-counter pain medications are generally sufficient for any discomfort you may experience.  Please contact our office if you have persistent pain or any concerns.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, you will be instructed to bite on a gauze pad for about 20 -45 minutes to help with the clotting and healing process.  This may need to be repeated (more than once) with additional gauze pads and continued biting pressure if bleeding and oozing continues.

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 directed and if antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs of infection have disappeared.

Additionally after extraction, avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously, sucking on straws, smoking, consumption of carbonated beverages, and brushing teeth around the extraction site for 24-48 hours.  These activities can loosen or dislodge blood clot that is forming and delay the healing process.  Strenuous exercise should also be avoided for at least 24 hours as it could cause an increase in blood pressure and more bleeding from extraction site.

Normal daily routines generally can be resumed after 24 hours including routine brushing and flossing.  It is also helpful to maintain nutrition by eating healthy soft diet and drinking lots of fluids for a few days following extraction. 

Please call our office at 423-929-7146 if you have any questions or concerns regarding postoperative care following your extraction.

After Composite Fillings

Composite (white or tooth colored) fillings are completely cured or hardened after placement.  You are able to chew on them immediately, but should be very careful until anesthesia wears off (to avoid biting your lip, cheek or tongue or burning your mouth with hot beverage).

Some sensitivity to hot and cold is normal after placement of a composite restoration for 1-2 weeks.  If pain persists beyond this, or if you have discomfort to pressure while chewing, an adjustment to bite may be indicated.

Please call our office at 423-929-7146 if your bite feels uneven or “heavy” or with any questions or concerns.

After Root Canal Treatment

Frequently after root canal treatment, a tooth will feel “better” or less uncomfortable as root canal treatments are often performed to treat problems involving infection and inflammation.  Residual soreness or discomfort sometimes occurs and may be present for a few days.  You may also be aware of sensitivity to biting pressure.  These symptoms are generally relieved with over-the-counter pain medication (ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc.).  Prescription medications (antibiotics and pain relievers) will be prescribed when indicated.

A temporary or interim restoration is usually placed after root canal treatment to seal the treatment site in the tooth.  A crown or other restoration should be placed a few days after treatment to further protect the tooth.

Please call our office at 423-929-7146 if you experience any signs of extreme discomfort, swelling, or have any other questions or concerns.