Home Care Instructions

After any dental work, including extractions, we advise patients to read through these instructions to ensure the best healing and follow-up care. Dental work should last a period of years with the proper daily care. If you have any questions regarding any instructions you have been given, or you are experiencing unusual discomfort, please call us at (907) 235-8909.

Oral Hygiene

Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your dental work, as are regular cleaning appointments.

We recommend products with the seal of the American Dental Association. They have been tested and proven to be effective for their purpose. Brush at least twice a day- In the morning after breakfast and right before bed. Flossing is most effective in the evening right before bed when your teeth will stay clean the longest. You should not eat or drink anything (other than water) after you brush and floss your teeth in the evening.

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 to protect your teeth. Likewise, if you grind your teeth, be sure to wear a nightguard that is custom made for your mouth.

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. Feel free to call us if this happens and be sure to 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 but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (907) 235-8909.

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 45-60 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, depending on the complexity of the procedure, you may feel some discomfort and experience some swelling. If swelling occurs it will usually peak about 36-48 hours after the procedure and then rapidly go down. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office 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 twice and flossing 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 after 3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

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, or pressure sensitivity after your appointment. You may also experience tender gums. Ibuprofen (Motrin) works 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.