Home Care Instructions
Follow these instructions after your procedure/treatment from Premier Smiles
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 Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414 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 Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414 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 crown 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.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
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 prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office at Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414.
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 and 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 Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414.
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 Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414.
After implant surgery
The placement of a dental implant can be very simple or may be complicated depending on the circumstances of your case. Postoperative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue at the implant site. It should be cleaned just like a tooth. You must be careful not to chew on the implant during the entire healing phase until the tooth is placed on the implant.
Immediately following surgery:
- Bite on the gauze pad placed over the surgical site for an hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded and replaced by another gauze pad. Refer to the section on BLEEDING for specific details.
- Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
- To minimize any swelling, place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on SWELLING for explanation.
- Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you can so it is digested before the local anesthetic has worn off. Having something of substance in the stomach to coat the stomach will help minimize nausea from the pain medications. Refer to the section on PAIN for specific details.
- Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable. If you are active, your heart will be beating harder and you can expect excessive bleeding and throbbing from the wound.
- NO SMOKING UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
- Generally there is much less bleeding with implants than tooth extractions because the implant fills the hole created in the bone. There is no open extraction site where a clot must form.
- Biting on gauze is still important for 6-10 hours after surgery. The pressure keeps the adjacent gum pushed tightly against the bone and that minimizes bleeding under the gum around the implants. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours.
- Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on gauze placed directly on the bleeding wound for 60 minutes. Repeat as needed every hour for 6-8 hours.
- If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. Tannic acid in the tea bag helps form a blood clot by constricting blood vessels.
- To minimize further bleeding, sit upright, do not be excited, maintain constant pressure on the gauze (no talking or chewing) and minimize physical exercise
- If bleeding persists please call our office for further instructions.
- Placement of a dental implant generally does not produce much swelling so it may not be necessary to use ice at all.
- If there was a fair amount of cheek retraction involved with your implant procedure, then it would be appropriate to apply ice on the outside of the face on the affected side. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively.
- The swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Sealed plastic bags filled with ice, ice packs, or a bag of frozen peas or corn wrapped in a washcloth should be applied to the side of the face where surgery was performed.
- The ice packs should be applied 20 minutes on/20 minutes off for the afternoon and evening immediately following your extraction. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect.
- Thirty-six (36) hours following surgery the application of moist heat to the side of the face may help some in reducing the size of any swelling that has formed.
- If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. Soft, puffy swelling that you can indent with your finger after oral surgery is very normal.
- Bright red, rock hard, hot swelling that does not indent with finger pressure, which is getting bigger by the hour, would suggest an infection. This usually would develop around day 3-4 after surgery when you would expect swelling to be going down, not up. If this should occur, please call the office.
- It is normal to run a low-grade temperature (99-100F) for 7-10 days following oral surgery. This reflects your immune response to the normal bacteria that are present in your mouth. A high temperature (>101F) might exist for 6-8 hours after surgery but no more than that.
- 2 Tylenol or 2-4 Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours will help to moderate a temperature.
- A temperature >101F, several days after surgery, especially if accompanied by rock hard swelling and increased pain, is usually indicative of an infection. You should call the office for instructions if this should occur.
- Pain or discomfort following surgery may last up to 4-5 days. For most patients, it seems they rely mainly on Tylenol or Ibuprofen by the second day.
- If prescription pain medications are required beyond 4 days, further treatment may be indicated. Please call the office and discuss your situation with us.
- Many medications for pain can cause nausea or vomiting. It is wise to have something of substance in the stomach (yogurt, ice cream, pudding or apple sauce) before taking prescription pain medicines and/or over the counter pain medicines (especially aspirin or ibuprofen). Even coating the stomach with Pepto Bismol or Milk of Magnesia can help prevent or moderate nausea.
- Moderate pain: 1 or 2 tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours, or 2-4 tablets of 200 mg Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) may be taken every 3-4 hours.
- Severe pain: take the tablets prescribed for pain, as directed, every 4 hours. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes.
- Do not drive an automobile or work around or operate heavy machinery if you are taking prescription pain medicine.
- Alcohol and prescription pain medicines do not mix!
- Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed until they are completely gone, regardless of how good you may feel to help prevent infection.
- Chew where your natural teeth are and not on the dental implant throughout the whole healing phase.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Try to drink 5-6 eight-ounce glasses the first day.
- Drink from a glass or cup and don’t use a straw. The sucking motion will suck out the healing blood clot and start the bleeding again.
- Avoid hot liquids or food while you are numb so you don’t burn yourself.
- Soft food and liquids can be eaten on the day of surgery.
- Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed. You will find eating multiple small meals is easier than three regular meals for the first few days.
- You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.
- Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.
- Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas but do not avoid them.
- Warm saltwater rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) or plain water should be used at least 4-5 times a day especially after meals, starting the day after surgery.
- In some cases you will be instructed use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out.
- Refrain from smoking for at least 7 days. Stopping forever is strongly recommended.
- Smoking retards healing dramatically. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, which slows the healing of surgery sites and affects the long-term health of the gum and bone.
- Smoking and dental implants do not mix. There is a documented increased failure rate of implants in patients who smoke. Therefore, the implant companies will not honor any of the replacement warranties on implants in patients who smoke.
- If you choose to smoke, you do so at the risk of losing your dental implants due to poor healing and increased gum disease in smokers.
- You should keep physical activities to a minimum for 6-12 hours following surgery.
- If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising.
- Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing your Prosthesis:
- Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery. Biting directly on the gauze will stop bleeding faster and prevent bleeding under the gums around the implant.
- It is recommended that a prosthesis not be worn for at least 2 weeks.
- In all cases you should remember that the prosthesis is for esthetics only and not for vigorous chewing. You want to minimize vigorous chewing of any kind on the healing cap or over the submerged implants during the entire healing phase.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414.
After sinus augmention (sinus lift)
The following instructions are provided to make your postoperative recovery period as short and pleasant as possible.
A sinus lift is a very delicate procedure performed if the area in the upper jaw that you are to have an implant(s) currently has insufficient bone because of an enlarged sinus. This procedure will augment the deficient area in the maxillary sinus. The bone that is being grafted will most commonly be coming from freeze-dried bone and artificial synthetic bone.
Sometimes the implant is placed at the same time as the graft, other times the implant will be placed at a later date. Whichever method is utilized, the postoperative instructions will be the same. In addition to the Implant Surgery postoperative instructions, please follow the instructions below as accurately as possible.
- Smoking dramatically decreases the body’s healing potential, especially in the sinuses. Please do not smoke for 3 weeks following sinus surgery.
To keep the sinus graft stable, there are several precautions you should exercise until your first follow up visit:
- Most importantly, do not blow your nose as this can dislodge the graft. If you have a runny nose, wipe it as necessary.
- Also, try not to sneeze. If you must sneeze, open your mouth to decrease the amount of pressure applied to the nose and sinus.
- Do not drink through a straw or rinse forcefully as these actions can cause bleeding at the intraoral surgical site.
- When sleeping, elevate your head to avoid excess pressure in the sinus. Avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 10-14 days.
- Take 1 tablet twice daily for 10 days unless told otherwise by your doctor (Sudafed 12-Hour)
Antibiotics and Pain Relievers:
- Use as directed by your doctor.
- Follow all other post-operative instruction as listed under AFTER IMPLANT SURGERY.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at Fairfax Office Phone Number 703-884-2414.
Advice and tips on caring for your dentures
- Only your dental professional is qualified to diagnose your oral health and adjust your denture or partial.
- Dentures should be brushed inside and outside daily with a soft, large nylon denture tooth brush with round-ended bristles.
- Use denture creams instead of toothpastes, which are too abrasive and will scratch your denture. Rinse with cold water.
- Dentures warp if placed in hot water.
- Inspect your denture regularly for worn teeth.
- Worn and stained dentures can make you look older and cause your dentures to function poorly.
- Discuss all your current medications with your doctor and dental professional.
- Be sure to visit your dental professional regularly.
- Have loose dentures checked immediately as they can cause friction and pressure on the gum tissues and bones.
- When not in use, cover dentures with water or a denture-cleaning solution to prevent them from drying out.
- Most dental insurance policies provide coverage for new dentures every five years.