Post Op Instructions for Cosmetic Dentistry
After a cosmetic procedure has been performed, it is normal for your teeth to be sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. Some sensitivity will most likely last until you get your permanent restorations. However, it should decrease over the few weeks while you wait for the permanent restorations to be made. Please, don’t be alarmed about sensitivity to cold and pressure unless it gets more frequent or more severe. If this is the case, please call our office immediately. The amount of discomfort you have is directly related to the extent of your dental work.
In general, the greater the number of teeth worked on, the greater the potential discomfort. If possible, avoid chewing in the area that was worked on and maintain a soft, nutritious diet. If it is not possible for you to chew in a different area, then make sure that you do not try to eat foods that are too hard. Try to stick to very soft foods. Examples: yogurt, bananas, pasta, milkshake, smoothie, soft bread, cheese, cold soup.
If you were prescribed a medication for pain, make sure to take it as directed. If you were given a prescription for medication containing Ibuprofen (ex. Vicoprofen), do not consume any additional anti-inflammatory medication.
However, if the medication that was prescribed, does not contain Ibuprofen, then it can help to take your prescription, alternating every 3 hours with anti-inflammatory medication (600 – 800 mg of Ibuprofen). Do not take anti-inflammatory medication if you are allergic to it.
For example: Take anti-inflammatory medication at 6 am. Then take your prescription at 9 am, then take your anti-inflammatory at 12 pm, then take the prescription at 3 pm, and so on. The important thing to remember is that you must let 6 hours pass between doses of anti-inflammatory medication. And you must not take your prescription doses any sooner than as directed on the label.
As you begin to feel better, you can stretch the times out, eventually discontinuing all medication. If you have any questions about this, please call our office.
If you were not prescribed pain medication by our office, then you can take Advil (Ibuprofen), Tylenol (Acetaminophen), or Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) for pain. If your discomfort is not relieved with over the counter medication, please call our office. We want you to be comfortable, and will prescribe something for you, if needed. It can be normal to need to take pain medications anywhere from days to weeks when having multiple restorations or cosmetic procedures done. If the discomfort continues to get worse, please call our office immediately. The discomfort should decrease as each day passes.
It is possible that your bite may feel off for the first few days. This feeling is normal. It takes a little time for our mouths to learn the new bite that has been created.
There is a possibility that your gums may be swollen, bleeding and irritated for several days to several weeks. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water. Rinse with this solution three times a day, swishing it all over the mouth and spitting it out.
Temporaries are not as insulating as your permanent crowns will be, causing increased temperature sensitivity and they can be very irritating to the gums. It is imperative that you brush and floss daily, even if it is uncomfortable to do so. For the first few days, it will be painful to clean around the temporary restorations, so be gentle. If it is very painful to use a toothbrush, you may use a Q-tip to clean the painful areas. It is especially important to keep the gums clean around the temporaries. Some temporaries are connected to each other. Proper cleaning will require using a floss threader to go in-between the teeth. We will give you a floss threader, and instruct you on how to use it. You may also like using an interproximal brush. If you need extra floss threaders or interproximal brushes, please ask someone at our office. They are also available at most drugstores. Your gums may bleed when flossing, for the first week or two after treatment. This is normal and should decrease as you heal. Just remember, the better your home care is, the faster your gums will heal, resulting in decreased discomfort and better esthetics. It is especially important, at the final appointment where we cement the permanent restorations. If your gums are healthy, your appointment will take less time, your discomfort will be less and the final esthetic result will be much better.
You should try to cut back or completely cut out your consumption of coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, cola, and berries. These stain the teeth and cosmetic restorations. If you are unable to do this, try to brush more often, especially right after eating or drinking something very staining Also, to avoid fracturing or breaking a cosmetic restoration, you should refrain from chewing on ice, fingernails, pens, and any other objects that can damage teeth. Stay away from eating hard candy, popcorn hulls, or any other unusually hard foods. If you are a clencher or a grinder, you may need to have an occlusal guard made, to protect the restorations from breaking prematurely. Failure to wear a nightguard, if one is needed, can lead to fractured restorations.
It is extremely important for you to have excellent daily oral hygiene, for many reasons. Healthy gums play a big role in esthetics. The daily mechanical removal of plaque helps the gums and bone to stay healthy, the esthetics to be optimal, the restorations to have longevity, and decreases the chance for cavity development. If the gums are red and swollen around restorations, the esthetics are not nearly as good as they are if the gums are healthy, tight, and light pink in appearance. Good oral home care includes brushing and flossing daily and having your teeth professionally cleaned by the dental hygienist every 6 months. Practicing good oral hygiene will help to ensure the long-term success of your cosmetic restorations.