Briargate Dental Center
Post Operative Instructions

Crowns and Bridges

  • Most of our crowns are placed the same day as your prep using CAD/CAM technology and a dual cure resin cement.
  • We recommend nothing too chewy, sticky, hard, or crunchy the first hour after placement.
  • It is safest to refrain from eating until the anesthesia has worn off so you don’t bite your lip, tongue, or cheek

Sensitivity:

  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment.
  • For the first few days avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages.
  • It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off due to the procedure.
  • If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water.
  • An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to increase your comfort.

Home Care:

  • It may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge.
    If your bite feels unbalanced, please be sure to call our office for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
  • Although crowns and bridges are often the most durable of all restorations, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and crown.
  • It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately.
  • Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restorations.

Temporary:

  • If we have placed a temporary crown or bridge on the prepared teeth while the final restoration is being made at the dental laboratory please be careful not to eat any foods that may dislodge it such as gum, caramels, etc.
  • Use your toothbrush to clean the temporary as you normally do your other teeth.
  • When flossing, it is best to pull the floss through the contact rather than lift up on the temporary so you don’t accidentally loosen the temporary.
  • If your temporary comes off between appointments, slip it back on and call our office so that we can re-cement it for you.  A little denture adhesive or toothpaste placed inside the crown can help to hold it in place in the interim.

Extractions

  • Refrain from eating at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.
  • The initial healing period usually takes a few weeks
    You’ll likely experience some swelling for the first forty-eight hours.
  • Some discomfort after the extraction is normal.
  • If you were given a prescription be sure to take any medications as directed.
  • To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.
  • You can also decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off for the first day following the tooth extraction(s).
  • A blood clot will form in the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw, and do not spit or swish vigorously for the first 48 hours.
  • Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing.  If you have an upper respiratory infection or suffer from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus medication on hand.
  • Do not rinse your mouth the day of the surgery.
  • Smoking, or allowing food particles to pack into the tooth’s socket, should be avoided.  Both will significantly affect the healing process.
  • Twenty-four hours following the procedure, you can rinse gently with mouthwash or a warm saltwater solution. (Dissolve one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water. Gently swish the solution around the affected area, and spit carefully.) You should do this two to three times each day for the week following the extraction.
  • Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first twenty-four hours following surgery.
  • Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat, as nourishment is important to the healing process. Limit your diet to soft foods like yogurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first forty-eight hours. Drink at least eight large glasses of water or fruit juice each day and chew on the opposite side of the extraction if possible.
  • Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. We will give you a supply of gauze sponges to place over the bleeding area.
    Change the pad as necessary, and use them until the bleeding stops completely. You can also bite gently but firmly on a moist tea bag for twenty minutes. Be sure to call our office if bleeding persists or increases.
  • Try to keep the gauze pad in place for one hour.  Frequent changing increases the time it will bleed.
  • The space left by the tooth will feel a bit strange to you at first.  Eventually, new bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap left by the extraction.

Fillings

  • Waterlase allows us to do many fillings without the need for local anesthesia.
  • However, if we had to take out an old sliver filling we needed to use anesthesia; therefore use caution eating for at least 2 hours after treatment or wait until the anesthesia has worn off.

Sensitivity:

  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, can occur for a time following treatment.
  • You may have some discomfort in the gums for a few days after treatment.
  • If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water.
  • An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to increase your comfort.

The New Filling:

  • After the placement of your new restoration, it may take a few days to get used to it.
  • If your bite feels unbalanced, please be sure to call our office for an appointment for a simple adjustment.

Home Care:

  • Although the treatment that was performed is quite durable, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and filling.
  • It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately.
    Daily home care and eating healthy foods will increase the longevity of your new restoration.

Repair or Laser Gum Surgery

  • Refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off.

Diet

  • A soft or liquid diet, including warm soup or instant breakfast, is advised for the next 2-3 days.
  • Avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and hard, brittle foods such as tortilla chips that can injure the surgical site.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids and eating a well balanced diet is important to your healing.

Medications

  • Laser periodontal treatment provides a minimally invasive gum surgery; however, some patients report minor discomfort.
  • A non-aspirin analgesic may be taken to relieve any tenderness or discomfort, and may be taken within the first hour after surgery while you are still numb.

Bleeding Control

  • Slight bleeding after the surgery is normal and may occur at intervals for the first 24-48 hours.
  • Forceful rinsing or excessive spitting can disrupt clotting, so do not rinse for at least 4 hours.

If bleeding does persist:

  • Apply a moistened gauze pad, or tea bag, with moderate pressure to the bleeding site for 3-5 minutes.
  • Repeat, if necessary.
  • Stay calm and quiet; lie down with the head elevated on 2-3 pillows.
  • If the bleeding persists do not hesitate to call our office.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brush your teeth on the surgical side lightly the first week.  Brush normal in any non surgical areas.
  • Floss only the non-surgical side the first week so you do not disrupt the clot in the surgical sites.
  • Refrain from using any irrigation devices such as the Water Pik or Hydrofloss on the surgical sites for one week.
  • Avoid using any strong mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • No Smoking:  Do not smoke for at least 48 hours. Smoking can seriously delay the healing process.
  • If you have any questions or problems, please call our office.

Porcelain Veneers

Temporary:

  • A temporary is an acrylic or composite veneer that is placed on the prepared teeth for protection during the time the porcelain veneers are constructed in the lab.
  • The temporary serves several important purposes: it protects the exposed dentin to minimize sensitivity, prevents the tooth from shifting, and last but not least, restores tooth contour and appearance.
  • Avoid chewing sticky foods such as gum or taffy.
    Use your toothbrush to clean the temporary as you normally do your other teeth.
  • If there is more than one veneer and the temporaries are fused, you may need a floss threader.
  • To avoid possibly loosening the temporary, it is best to pull the floss through the contact rather than pulling it down through the contact.
  • If your temporary comes off between appointments, call our office so that we can re-cement it for you.

Sensitivity:

  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a time following treatment.
  • For the first few days avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages.
  • If your gums were recontoured during treatment they may be tender after the anesthesia wears off.
  • Rinsing with warm salt water by dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of warm water will help.
  • An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will also increase your level of comfort.

Your New Smile:

  • After the cementation of your porcelain veneers, it may take a few days to get used to the new veneers. Your bite and the way your teeth come together may feel different especially if we changed the length, shape and/or thickness of your teeth.
  • If your bite feels unbalanced, please be sure to call our office for an appointment to make an adjustment.

Home Care:

  • It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately.
  • Daily home care and  eating a healthy diet will increase the longevity of your new veneers.

Whitening:

  • Brush and Floss as normal.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that may stain teeth for 48 hours (like berries and red wine).
  • Some short lasting sensitivity is normal as the teeth continue to whiten after the procedure.
  • Any sensitivity should return to normal after 1-2 days.
  • If whitening material caused an irritation on the gums apply Vitamin E from a Vitamin E capsule.
  • If your teeth did not achieve a level of whiteness you had imagined, call us to discuss cosmetic dentistry options.

Care and Use of your Nightguard:

  • Use a dedicated toothbrush to clean your nightguard with liquid anti-bacterial hand soap after use.
  • Do not microwave your nightguard or place in boiling water.
    If white deposits build up on your nightguard, soak it in white vinegar to remove them.
  • Do not use toothpaste to clean your appliance as it leaves scratches that can harbor mold and bacteria.
  • Store your nightguard in its container dry and place it in a drawer to prevent your pets from chewing on it.
  • Bring your nightguard to future hygiene appointments so we may inspect it for normal wear and tear.
  • Most patients are fitted with an appliance that keeps their back teeth slightly apart to take advantage of a reflex in our body by which if only the front teeth touch the muscles responsible for chewing relax.
  • Nightguards in which only the front teeth touch must not be worn more than 8 hours a day to avoid eruption of the back teeth over time.
  • If you experience any problems with your nightguard call our office to schedule an appointment.