Post Operative Instructions

After any procedure requiring local anesthesia it is best to refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off to prevent possibly injury to your soft tissue.

View post-operative / maintenance instructions for:

Night Guards

Your night guard (also known as a bite splint or occlusal splint) is made of acrylic. It is designed to keep your teeth from coming in contact while you sleep. This allows the lower jaw to return to a comfortable hinge position without interference from your bite. In order to enjoy its benefits, you must wear your night guard every night. If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, you may wear it then also. When you are not using your appliance, always keep it in water to prevent warping. This simple treatment has many years of proven success.

Cleaning: If you are using your night guard during the day, or eating at night before you go to bed, food can accumulate underneath it. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly, then brush and rinse the inside and outside of the night guard before returning it to your mouth. Clean your night guard the same way before placing it in water when you are not wearing it. Dental plaque will find a haven, stimulating dental decay, if you do not take care regarding the cleanliness of your mouth and night guard. If you suffer a high rate of dental decay, fluoride-containing rinses or gels can be placed in your appliance once per day. Using a dental soak cleanser such as Polident® on a monthly basis can also help to keep your night guard fresh.

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Bleaching (Teeth Whitening)

Floss and brush your teeth. Place a small amount of gel in each tooth compartment in the tray. A little bit goes a long way!  Place the tray with the gel in your mouth. You may see “bubbling” with in the trays which is actually part of the whitening process. Use extra care to avoid getting the gel on your gums. Remove excess gel with a cotton swab or a dry toothbrush. After whitening, rinse the trays with cold water and store in the carrying case. Rinse and brush your teeth to remove excess gel.

For Optimum Results...

The treatment should proceed uninterrupted. If you skip a night or two the treatment must be extended to compensate for the time missed.
It is best to avoid substances such as coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco.
Continue good oral hygiene throughout the treatment.

Don't...

  • Use the treatment while pregnant or lactating
  • Whiten if you have diabetes or heart disease, consult your physician
  • Overload the trays with gel as tooth or gum irritation may occur
  • Use any household or other whitening products to whiten your teeth
  • Eat drink or smoke while wearing your custom trays

In general, some patients may experience increased tooth sensitivity to cold during treatment, while others may have nonspecific sensitivity in their teeth, gums, tongue, lips, or throat. If these symptoms occur, discontinue use and contact your dentist. These symptoms should discontinue with in 1-3 days after interrupting the treatment.

If the sensitivity is in the gums, reduce the amount of gel used in the trays. Also, visually inspect the trays while in the mouth to make sure the trays are not extending too far over the gums. If needed, have the dentist trim the trays to provide relief.

If the sensitivity is in the teeth, try whitening every other or every third night. If the sensitivity persists, ask your dentist for desensitizing fluoride gel to be used in conjunction with the whitening gel.

It is normal to see a dark color in the trays where you have amalgam (silver fillings). The gel oxidizes surface stains on these amalgam fillings.

The area of the tooth closest to the gums may take longer to lighten than the biting edge. It will also remain the darkest part of the tooth.

Post Treatment:

Some patients will never need to repeat the whitening process. However, if you notice that your are acquiring some stain, you may do a touch-up for one to three nights every 4-6 months.

Treatment Time:

Formula

Concentration

Wear Time

Comments

Nite White

10% and 16%

Overnight

Daily Use

Nite White

10% and 16%

2-4 hrs twice/day

Unable to sleep

Nite White

10% and 16%

1-2 hrs/day

Tooth Sensitivity

Nite White

22%

1 hr once or twice daily


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Crowns and Bridges

It is best to refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off to prevent possibly injury to your soft tissue.

Temporary: Please be careful when cleaning around the temporary restoration. Do not pull up on the temporary when flossing this area. Make sure to brush this area gently and not to chew any hard foods on the restoration.
If your temporary comes off between appointments, please call our office so that we can reapply it for you.

Sensitivity: Sensitivity to hot and cold is to be expected following treatment.
For the first few days, try to 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. If you feel discomfort in the gum tissue, rinse the area with warm salt water. You can also take an Advil or Tylenol if the discomfort persists.

Permanent Crown/Bridge: When the final restoration is placed, your bite may feel a little different. This is just your mouth adjusting to the new addition. If it still feels off in a few days, please call the office for a slight adjustment.

Home Care: It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately.
A consistent daily home care routine will increase the longevity of the restoration.

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Root Canal Therapy - Endodontic Treatment

This procedure will be performed using local anesthesia. There are usually no restrictions after the procedure concerning driving or returning to work.

Continue all medications for blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems and any other conditions as recommended by your physician. If there is a question, please call our office prior to your appointment.

Please eat a full breakfast or lunch as applicable.

If you have been advised by your physician or dentist to use antibiotic pre medication because of :

  • Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP)
  • Heart Murmur
  • Hip, Knee, or Cardiac Prosthesis
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease

Please make sure you are on the appropriate antibiotic on the day of your appointment. If there is a question, please call our office prior to your appointment.

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. Do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is covered with a protective restoration provided by your dentist. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. Discomfort may be alleviated by taking ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed.

NOTE: Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications.

Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above listed medications, or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately. The office telephone is answered day and night. If you need to call after hours, please have your pharmacy number available.

What to expect after your root canal treatment has been completed:

Should you experience discomfort for a day or two, please do not be alarmed, this is common. Ibuprofen (Advil) should relieve this situation and we recommend that you take up to 800 mg (with food) every 6 hours for the next 3 days. This dosage of ibuprofen is primarily intended to reduce inflammation as well as to relieve discomfort associated with the endodontically treated tooth. Soaking the treated area with a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of comfortably hot water also helps reduce the inflammation.

Typically, the endodontically treated tooth has been weakened by previous decay and fillings. The opening in the tooth through which root canal treatment was done has been filled with a temporary filling (unless the tooth already has a crown on it, in which case we may have permanently sealed it). In order to prevent a fracture, it is usually necessary for this tooth to receive additional protection in the form of a cast restoration (onlay or crown). A radiograph will be taken by your dentist. You should arrange to see your dentist within the next two weeks following root canal therapy to determine how to restore your tooth.

If you have any questions, or difficulties arise as a consequence of your treatment, please do not hesitate to call the office.

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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 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 mouth guard. 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.

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Composite Bonding

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.

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.

Home Care: It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. A consistent daily home care routine will increase the longevity of the restoration.

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Extractions (Oral Surgery)

Instructions following oral surgery:

  1. Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using small rolled gauze for 90 minutes. Gauze pads will be given to you. Change these every hour for the next 3-4 hrs immediately following your oral surgery. As bleeding lessens, you may go longer intervals between changes. Take two gauze pads double twice and place over extraction site and bite gently.
  2. Swelling:  Some swelling is normal after surgery, and some patients swell more than others. If your doctor expects increased swelling, you will need to place an ice pack adjacent to the surgery site(s) for the next 6-8 hours. Use the ice pack for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off and so on. Bags of frozen peas work well.
  3. Medications: Take your pills as instructed. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or take other medications without your doctor’s permission. Take medication on a full stomach or with a full glass of water or juice to lower the chance of nausea. If you become sick and it continues ,notify your doctor.
  4. Fluids : Drink plenty of fluids such as water and juice for the next few days. Do not use a straw.
  5. Diet : Eat whatever feels comfortable. Soups and soft foods will be more comfortable for a few days. Diet may consist of soft foods that can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc. Juice is beneficial to drink before taking medication.
  6. Activity : Remain quiet for 24-48 hours. Avoid running or strenuous activity as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.  
  7. Brushing : A clean mouth heals faster; however, don’t brush the immediate area near the surgery site.
  8. Mouth Rinse : Gently soak your mouth with warm water after each meal to keep the surgery site(s) clean. You may add salt to the water if desired.
  9. AVOID : Smoking, alcoholic beverages, peroxide, carbonated beverages and commercial mouth rinse for at least 24-48 hours following surgery. Avoid using straws. These things can break down the blood clot and result in a “dry-socket”.
  10. Sutures : Some sutures are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. Some sutures are not resorbable and will need to be removed. A post op appointment will be scheduled for you one week from today.

The following conditions may occur and are considered normal:

  • Trismus (stiffness) of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days.
  • You may have a slight earache.
  • A sore throat may develop.
  • Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
  • If the corners of the mouth are stretched out they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with cream or ointment.
  • There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If temperature continues, notify us.
  • It is not unusual to develop bruising in the area of an extraction.
  • The  lower lip may have numbness for and extended period of time.

Women please note: Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist.

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Scaling and Root Planing

After your scaling or root planning, it is best to rinse your mouth 2-3 times per day with warm salt water. One teaspoon salt / 8 oz. water. You should start home care immediately, although you should be extremely gentle with the treated areas.

If you feel discomfort in the gum tissue where you had treatment, an Advil or Tylenol may be taken to relieve this feeling. The treated areas will probably be sensitive to hot and cold.

It is best to refrain from eating any hard or chewy foods for the next 48-72 hours while the treated area begins to heal.

You may also experience some swelling or jaw stiffness. If this does occur, you can place a cold compress on the swelling or a hot towel on the stiffness.

Smoking should be terminated for a period of 48-72 hours following these procedures. Please contact the office if the pain or swelling persists.

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Porcelain Veneers (Laminates)

It is best to refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off to prevent possibly injury to your soft tissue.

Temporary: Please be careful when cleaning around the temporary restorations. Do not pull up on the temporary when flossing this area. Make sure to brush this area gently and not to chew any hard foods on the restoration.

If your temporary comes off between appointments, please call our office so that we can reapply it for you.

Sensitivity: Sensitivity to hot and cold is to be expected following treatment.
For the first few days, try to 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. If you feel discomfort in the gum tissue, rinse the area with warm salt water. You can also take an Advil or Tylenol if the discomfort persists.

Permanent Veneers: When the final restoration is placed, your bite may feel a little different. This is just your mouth adjusting to the new addition. If it still feels off in a few days, please call the office for a slight adjustment.

Home Care:
It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. It is very important to thoroughly clean the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gumline. A consistent daily home care routine will increase the longevity of the restoration.

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Snore Appliances

As with anything new, it generally takes a little time to get accustomed to wearing your Snore appliance. However, don’t be discouraged, most people find they are wearing their Snore appliance all night in 4 to 7 days.
Some adjustments, by your dentist may be necessary before the desired results are achieved.

Here’s what you might experience:

At first you may wake up and discover that you have removed the snore appliance while you were asleep. It may be on the floor, the nightstand or buried in the bedding. Don’t worry this is completely normal.

Also, you may find yourself generating excessive saliva during the first few nights of wear. This excessive salivation is the body’s way of trying to flush out a foreign object. Don’t be concerned, your body will learn to accept the snore appliance, and the excess saliva is only temporary.

To help you adapt to wearing the snore guard all night long, you might want to wear the snore guard 15 to 30 minutes before going to bed.

Finally, if you experience any discomfort, discontinue wearing the snore appliance and contact the dentist who fit you. Adjustments can be made in just a few minutes.

How to use your snore guard:

  1. Follow a regular oral hygiene program of brushing and flossing.
  2. Wear the appliance on your upper teeth. Your lower jaw will find its proper position naturally. The snore guard fits securely only on your upper teeth, while your lower jaw should have vertical and lateral freedom of movement.
  3. Just relax and don’t think about the appliance. The snore guard works passively.
  4. Each morning clean your snore appliance.
  5. If you have any questions, contact your doctor. Your doctor is an expert and will be happy to assist you and answer any questions that you may have.

Cleaning your snore appliance:

When properly cared for, the snore guard will typically last 24 months. At that time it may need to be replaced.

  1. Each morning, rinse your snore guard with cool water and brush it with a soft toothbrush to remove any debris.
  2. Soak the snore guard at least every other day in Ortho Fresh, to maintain a clean fresh appliance. Be sure to use only cool or cold water because hot water will distort your snore appliance!

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