Home Care Instructions

After Cosmetic 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 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 (843) 881-4545 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 will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (one tablet of Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) every 3-4 hours) should ease any residual discomfort.

Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. You may notice increased salivation. This is because your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside to normal in about a week.

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 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 beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils) and sticky candies. Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea and berries.

If you engage in sports let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.

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 molds 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 (843) 881-4545 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.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (843) 881-4545.

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 (one tablet 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 (843) 881-4545.

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 (843) 881-4545.

After Endodontic Therapy (root canals)

First of all, congratulations, you made it through the root canal! Hopefully you had a pleasant experience, considering the circumstances. That truly is our goal. This sheet will go over some information about what to expect for the next few weeks now that the root canal is completed. Please follow the instructions outlined below, and contact us should any questions or problems arise.

  1. DO NOT eat or drink anything for the next half hour. DO NOT try to feel around your tooth with your tongue. You have a temporary filling in the tooth and it takes about half an hour to harden.
  2. You need to have a permanent filling or a crown placed on your tooth within 1 MONTH of the root canal being completed. It is essential for you to follow up with your general dentist on this. If this is not done, the tooth is very likely to fracture or to develop new decay underneath the temporary filling which may cause your root canal to fail. You will be responsible for all costs incurred if you fail to follow this instruction.
  3. DO NOT use the tooth to bite down on anything hard (peanuts, pretzels, ice, etc.) until the permanent filling/crown has been placed on the tooth. Again, the tooth is prone to fracture and if you bite down on anything too hard or crunchy you may crack the tooth.
  4. It is normal for the temporary filling to “divot” in with use. It is very rare for it to fall out entirely. If the temporary falls out you should contact us at our office.
  5. Some minor discomfort in the area is normal following the root canal. It is normal for the tooth to be uncomfortable for 2-3 days after today’s treatment. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the tooth and surrounding tissues may remain sore for a few weeks post treatment. The three most common reasons for pain are:

Sore jaw joint from having your mouth open for prolonged time.

Sore muscle from the injection site.

Sore gum from the rubber dam placement.

  1. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT THE PAIN??? All of the above scenarios should be handled with over the counter medication, primarily. We recommend you take:

600 mg Ibuprofen (4 over the counter pills of Advil or Motrin or generic equivalent) every 4-6 hours for the next 2 days.

OR (if unable to take ibuprofen)

1000 mg Acetaminophen (2 extra strength Tylenol of generic equivalent) every 6-8 hours for the next 2 days.

  1. If you are given any prescription medications related to this treatment please take them as instructed by your doctor.
  2. You may floss and brush your tooth as normal, unless told otherwise by the doctor.

FLARE-UPS

Although about 95 % of root canals cause very little to no discomfort after the treatment is completed, there are about 5 % of cases which can cause significant pain. These are commonly referred to as “flare-ups.” They mostly occur on badly infected teeth, teeth that are extremely irritated, or teeth that have a history of prior treatment. Sometimes, however, they occur randomly, even on patients that have had several root canals done previously without any problems.

If you have a flare-up you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling (can get as large as a golf ball), bruising, throbbing, and general discomfort, which usually begins a few hours after treatment and may last 2 to 3 days.

Please contact our office if you experience any of these symptoms and we will do everything we possibly can to get you some relief. You may be prescribed antibiotics, stronger pain medication, a steroid, and/or you may be asked to come to the office to receive further therapy. Should you experience any of these symptoms after hours you may call Dr. Kent at (646) 594-3020.