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After Care

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After Care

After a Filling
After a filling it is important not to eat anything until the numbness has worn completely off. Do no test the numbness by biting the numb lip or cheek. You will likely still be numb and damage your lip or cheek; this can be serious with young children as they are not used to being numb. Parents should watch their children closely for this.
With silver fillings, also known as amalgams, you should not chew on the side with the new filling(s) for 24 hours; they do not gain their compressive strength for some time even though they are "hard". With composite, tooth colored fillings, you may eat on them as soon as the numbness has completely worn off. They are hardened to full strength as they are placed.
Pain from the procedure and pain from keeping your mouth open during the procedure can be relieved with the usual over-the-counter pain medications such as: aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve. As with all medications do not take a medication if you may be allergic to it. Generally, the discomfort from the procedure lasts no more than two (2) days. The majority of patients need no pain medication after their fillings. If you have any questions call the office.
For a few days after the procedure you may experience some sensitivity to hot or cold foods and chewing, this is normal. If this sensitivity does not go away or gets worse, please call our office so that Dr. Kirk can check the new filling and take care of any problems. Just as importantly, if after the anesthesia wears off and your “bite” does not feel “just right”, or it feels that you may be hitting your new filling when you bite, please call our office so that Dr. Kirk can simply and easily adjust your new filling. A filling that is hitting “high” will not wear itself in and will cause your tooth to be very sensitive and sore.

After an Extraction

It is very important to follow your post operative instructions to prevent complications after an extraction. Usually you will be sent home biting down on gauze over the extraction site. It is important to stay closed on the gauze for at least thirty minutes. Preferably, after the first 30 minutes I like to have patients change the gauze an stay closed for another 30 minutes. If prolonged bleeding/oozing occurs again later use the thirty minute gauze biting routine. It is vitally important to not open and check the bleeding during the thirty minute period; constant, uninterrupted pressure is the key. Do not talk to people while biting on the gauze, unless you talk like a ventriloquist and don&3039t release the pressure on the gauze. If the extraction site just won't quit oozing try biting on a Lipton tea bag placed over the extraction site for thirty minutes; tastes horrible ,but very effective. After the first day or two you should not have any significant bleeding; if you do call the office.

It is important not to do any work that requires you to bend over, or strain to lift things for the first 24 hr period. It is best to go home and sit in your favorite easy chair for a few hours-do not do any physical work if you can help it as this may cause continued bleeding.
The doctor may have given you a prescription for antibiotics. It is important to take the antibiotics just as they are prescribed and complete the course of antibiotics. Be sure and report any allergic reactions to the office IMMEDIATELY. You may also be given a prescription for pain medication. Take your pain medication if you begin to feel any pain as the anesthesia wears off. It is MUCH more effective to prevent the pain from beginning then to let the pain get going and then try and stop it. Remember if you are given a narcotic pain medication do not drive, operate machinery, or make important decisions as your thinking may be impaired while you are on the pain medication. In a few days Tylenol or Advil will likely be sufficient. As always call the office if you have any questions or are experiencing any problems.

New Dentures

The biggest adjustment to new dentures is the strange feeling they will have as compared to your old dentures. The bite will feel different, the feel of the roof of the mouth will feel different, your speech will be effected. You will be come adjusted to these new contours in time or sometimes the dentures can be adjusted to feel more like your old dentures. You need to persevere during the first week or two so that the new dentures feel natural and you become accustomed to your new smile.

It is a certainty that you will get sore spots that need to be adjusted; usually mostly with the lower denture-expect this and don't lose heart, with your help the dentures will be adjusted over time and made as comfortable as possible. This is when implants provide comfort for lower denture wearers...but that's another topic covered elsewhere on this site. Rinse with salt water and leave the denture out if the sore spot is intolerable, but always place the denture back in a few hours before your adjustment appointment as this will aid in locating and adjusting the right area to relieve your sore spot.
The same information applies for immediate dentures as well. For immediate denture patients the strange feeling of the dentures will be very significant and take real perseverance to adjust to. You will have denture sore spots and sore areas from the extractions that will need to be dealt with. I expect to see immediate denture patients almost daily for the first week or so for adjustments and encouragement. The results will be worth it and you can always have implants placed to help retain and stabilize the dentures. Your immediate dentures may be temporary dentures for you to use as your implant prosthesis is being fabricated.

Root Canal Treatment

After a root canal treatment it is important not to eat anything until the numbness has worn off. The root canalled tooth will have a temporary filling material that can be dislodged if you eat hard gritty foods on the temporary filling. Pain control after a root canal treatment is usually achieved with over the counter pain medication; aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve. You may experience jaw pain and muscle soreness as root canal treatments can be lengthy procedures which tend to aggravate jaw and muscle pain. Occasionally a narcotic prescription will be provided. It is important to take this medication as prescribed. Do not operate machinery, drive or make important decisions while taking narcotic pain medications as your judgment may be impaired. A root canal treated tooth will usually feel tender for one week and feel different for two to four weeks. It is vitally important to have a crown placed soon after your root canal is completed as a root canal treated tooth is weak and can fracture or worse-split. If the tooth fractures or splits the tooth may not be salvageable and hence need to be extracted. This is not what you want after you spent your hard earned money and time getting a root canal. As always if you have any questions call the office.

After a Crown or Bridge Preparation
It is important not to eat until after the numbness wears off. You will have a temporary crown on the prepared tooth. It is important not to dislodge the temporary crown with sticky foods as the temporary is cemented with a weak cement so that it can be removed. There is likely to be some discomfort after a crown preparation. Over-the-counter pain medications should be used to control the discomfort after a crown preparation such as: Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve, aspirin. As with all medications do not take a medication if you may be allergic to it. In rare instances a prescription medication may be required. The prepared tooth will likely be sensitive to temperature, usually cold. This may last up to two weeks, but should not be severe or lingering in nature. You should brush as usual around the temporary and carefully floss so as not to dislodge the temporary. Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse, such as Listerine, will be beneficial to your gums. The bite on your temporary crown or brigde may feel different at first, but it should not feel like you are hitting "high". If the bite does not feel comfortable you may wish to schedule an appointment to have it checked and adjusted if necessary. As always call our office if you have any questions or concerns.

After a New Crown or Bridge Placement
If you were numbed to place the crown or bridge do not eat anything until the numbness wears off. It will take some time to get used to your new crown or bridge. It is not uncommon for a newly cemented crown or bridge to be temperature sensitive, mostly to cold. In time your new crown or bridge will feel natural. Brush and floss as usual around crowns and use a bridge-threader beneath the bridge as directed. If you have any questions call the office.  

For a few days after the procedure you may experience some sensitivity to hot or cold foods and chewing, this is normal. If this sensitivity does not go away or gets worse, please call our office so that Dr. Kirk can check the new crown or bridge and take care of any problems. Just as importantly, if after the anesthesia wears off and your “bite” does not feel “just right”, or it feels that you may be hitting your new crown or bridge when you bite, please call our office for an appointment so that Dr. Kirk can simply and easily adjust it. A new crown or bridge that is hitting “high” will not wear itself in and will cause your tooth or teeth to be very sensitive and sore. 
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