White Bear Smiles

White Bear Smiles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Postoperative Care

How can we help you?

At White Bear Smiles, we strongly believe in education, both for ourselves and for our patients. We've found that patients who take charge of their dental care and ask questions about their health, our practice, and dentistry in general tend to have better overall outcomes. 

So go ahead! Ask us your questions! We're happy to take the time to give you the information you need to make decisions about your care. 

We've collected some of our most commonly heard questions here, but if you need more information or you don't see your question, don't hesitate to give us a call. We're here to help.

Postoperative Care

  • You can take over the counter pain medication for any discomfort you may have. Ibuprofen or Advil helps to reduce swelling.
  • Rinse with warm salt water if your gums are sore and tender (1 tsp. salt in 1 cup warm water). Or, if a medicated rinse has been prescribed, use it as directed.
  • Brush gently today even if your gums are tender to help remove the plaque that has started to reform.
  • You don't need to floss or use any home care aids today if there is too much sensitivity. But starting tomorrow, do so each day.
  • Follow all our home care instructions exactly as directed. Success of treatment depends directly on the improvement of your oral hygiene.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water today to help remove the bacteria that are present.
  • Avoid eating crunchy, spicy, or hot foods today, i.e.: taco chips, carrots, crispy fried chicken.
  • No smoking if at all possible for 4 to 6 weeks. If after a few weeks your teeth become sensitive to cold, due to less inflammation in the tissue, you may want to try a sensitive toothpaste such as Colgate or Crest Sensitive.
  • If you have any questions or if you experience unusual swelling, pain or bleeding, please call our office.
  • Do not bite together hard or eat on fresh amalgam fillings for 2 to 3 hours. Composite fillings set up hard right away.
  • Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children may chew the inside of their lip, cheeks or tongue and cause serious damage.
  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a few days following a dental restoration. Usually, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be.
  • Sensitivity is usually most noticeable the first 12 to 24 hours after the anesthetic wears off.
  • The gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.
  • The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a texture different than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you should become accustomed to this in a few days. If the bite seems high or doesn't feel right please call our office.
  • Following the first appointment for a crown or bridge procedure, a temporary is placed on the tooth or teeth involved. This will protect them while the custom restoration is being made.
  • Your final restoration will be shaped and shaded to match your other teeth in both color and function.
  • The use of temporary cement is for easy removal on your next appointment. Floss carefully here until the permanent crown or bridge is placed.
  • Many crowns fit below the gumline. Therefore, you may experience some discomfort for a few days due to the irritation of that area during the procedures. Sensitivity to cold or pressure is also possible. You may want to take some Advil to relieve this discomfort.
  • After the final cementation of your fixed restoration, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, be sure to call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
  • Proper brushing and flossing is recommended to help you retain your final restoration. The only area that a crowned tooth can decay is at the edge of the crown at the gumline, so be sure to brush this area well. If you should have any questions please call our office.
  • Endodontic treatment can take 1, 2, or 3 appointments depending on each case. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any one of these appointments: sensitivity to hot and/or cold; sensitivity to pressure; possible swelling.
  • It is difficult to predict which symptoms, if any, you may experience and to what extent. In complicated cases pain medication, and/or antibiotics may be necessary.
  • If you experience swelling, call our office; it may be necessary for Dr. Anderson to see you.
  • A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits.
  • Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.
  • During endodontic treatment the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This may cause the tooth to become brittle and more prone to fracture. In these cases a full coverage crown restoration (cap) will be recommended to prevent this from happening. If you should have any questions or concerns, please call our office.
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