After-Care Instructions

Composites (tooth colored fillings):

Once we have restored your teeth with tooth-colored materials, these restorations will serve you well for several years. The resin (plastic) material used contains small “filler” particles of glass-like material for strength and wears resistance. They contain the finest and most up-to-date materials available today. However, you should be aware of the following information about your new restorations:

Mouth mirror as with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the filled teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because though composites are much stronger than amalgam (“silver”) fillings, the resin material can break under extreme forces.

Composite fillings set up hard right away. There is no waiting time to eat. Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue, which can cause serious damage.

Sensitivity to hot and cold is common for a few weeks following a dental restoration. Usually, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.

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 different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days.

When a tooth has a cavity Dr. Oppenheimer removes the decay and fills the hole with a filling material, the tooth supports the filling. The ideal filling is no more than 50% of the tooth. This leaves half the tooth to support the filling. When you get a cavity that takes up 60%or more of the tooth, sometimes an Onlay (porcelain filling) or even a crown (“cap”) is indicated. A crown covers the entire tooth and holds the tooth together.

Crowns and Temporary Crowns:

Temporaries are not strong. They may break or come off occasionally. If so, slip it back on the tooth with some Temporary cement available at your local pharmacy, and call us for an appointment. Please do not leave the temporary out of your mouth because the teeth will move and the final restoration will not fit. Please do not floss around your temporary crown, as you may accidentally pop off the temporary. You will, however, be encouraged to floss your final.

The size, shape, and color of the temporary does not resemble the final restoration.

Temporary restorations may leak saliva or food onto the tooth. Sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure, or sweets is not uncommon. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.

After the final cementation of your restoration, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge. Hot and cold sensitivity is possible for a few weeks and occasionally lasts for several months. As with the temporary, if the bite doesn’t feel balanced please call us.

Smile Do not chew hard or sticky foods on the restoration for 24 hours from the time they were cemented. The cement must set up during this time to have optimum strength.

Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are required 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 gum line. Often, small problems that develop around the restorations can be found at an early stage and corrected easily, but waiting for a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration.

Some important information about crowns:

Gold and Porcelain Crowns are the same for practical all cases except that porcelain can chip. Approximately 1 out of every 100 porcelain crowns chip and need replacement. This will never happen with gold crowns. This should be taken into consideration when choosing between a porcelain and gold crown.

Dentures / Partials:

Sore Spots: Usually, your mouth will have a few “sore spots” after wearing the denture/partial for 24 hours. These areas can be relieved with very little effort during your next appointment.

hugChewing: The new bite may not feel completely comfortable for several weeks. We can adjust the contacting surfaces of your teeth after the dentures/partials have settled into place.

Cleaning the Dentures/Partials and your Mouth: Your denture/partials can be cleaned easily by using a denture brush and mild toothpaste. Periodic denture soaks are also very useful (ex: Polident).

Dentures only: Brush your gums with a regular toothbrush once per day to toughen and clean them.

Partials only: Use special care to clean parts of the partial that contact any natural teeth. Both the partial and the natural teeth must be kept very clean on a daily basis to reduce the chance of new dental decay starting.

We have done our best to provide you with well-fitted, functional, and esthetic dentures/partials. We feel confident that after a few weeks of becoming adjusted to the new dentures/partials, you will have years of satisfaction from them Over time, your jawbone and gums shrink when there are teeth missing. When this occurs, your dentures/partials will feel loose and may require relining. Wearing ill-fitting dentures/partials for too long without refitting can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease. Please call our office if these symptoms occur.

Root Canals:

Endodontic treatment can take 1, 2, or 3 appointments depending on the case. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any of these appointments: sensitivity to hot and/or cold; sensitivity to pressure; possible swelling. If you experience swelling, please call our office immediately as additional medication may be required.

One common occurrence with a newly root-canalled tooth is for the tooth to feel high when you bite your teeth together. If this occurs it will cause your tooth to stay sensitive for a longer period of time. Please call us if your bite feels “high” as this problem is easily rectified with a simple bite adjustment.

A temporary filling may be used to temporarily seal the tooth between visits.

Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.

The gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.

During endodontic treatment, the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This will cause the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracturing which could result in the need to extract the tooth. A full coverage crown is recommended to prevent this from happening.

Temporary Veneers:

Plastic temporary restorations will serve you for a short period of time while your permanent veneer is being made. They are attached only slightly to the underlying tooth so they can be removed easily.

If a veneer comes off, call us and we will replace it immediately. If you are in a situation that will not allow you to come in, place the temporary back in place with some Temporary filling material - available from your local pharmacy. You must still see us as soon as possible.

The size, shape, and color of the temporary does not resemble the final veneer.

Temporary veneers may leak saliva or food onto the tooth. Sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure, or sweets is not uncommon. You may also see stains under the temporaries. These will be removed prior to final cementation.

Avoid heavy brushing of the temporaries and do not floss between them because you may pull them off.

Your final porcelain veneers will be as close to the natural beauty and function of teeth as possible. They look and feel normal in every way.

Porcelain Veneers:

We place our veneers with the finest materials and techniques available today. However, you should be aware of the following information about your restorations:

As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the veneered teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because the porcelain material can break under extreme forces.

Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are essential to the long-term stability and appearance of your veneers. Often, problems that may develop with the veneers can be found at an early stage and repaired easily, while waiting for a longer time may require redoing entire restorations.

The gums may recede from the veneers, displaying discolored tooth structure underneath. This situation usually takes place after many years and requires veneer replacement.

Oral Surgery:

Do NOT rinse mouth the day of surgery.

Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction site and sutures (stitches).

BLEEDING - Some bleeding following tooth extraction is to be expected. If unusually heavy, place a tight ball of gauze firmly over the extraction sitre and bite down or hold in place for TEN MINUTES. Repeat if necessary. AVOID HOT LIQUIDS. As an alternative, moisten a regular tea bag with cool water, place at extraction site, and bite on it for ten minutes, the bleeding will stop.

SWELLING may occur. Use an ice bag or cold towel against the cheek for 15 minutes. Repeat a half-hour later, continuing on and off cycle for 3 to 4 hours. Slight swelling may occur AFTER tooth has been removed, this is no cause for alarm. If you have severe swelling, call us immediately.

PAIN - Some discomfort may be expected following surgery. For pain, take 2 aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Tylenol (for those who are aspirin sensitive), with food every 3 -4 hours, or the pain medication prescribed for you by the doctor.

FOOD - A light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours.

NEXT DAY - Rinse mouth with warm water for 5 minutes every 3 hours.

BONY EDGES - After teeth are extracted, the patient may feel hard projections in the mouth and think they are the roots of the teeth. This is usually the hard bony partition, which surrounds the roots of the teeth. These generally break away, or work themselves out. If you have any questions, please call the office for further advice.

ANESTHESIA - A local anesthetic (Lidocaine) has been given to you for pain relief. Due to the strange lack of feeling many people, especially children, will chew the inside of their lips cheek or tongue, which can cause serious damage. Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off, usually within 3 -4 hours.

As all extractions are surgical procedures, it is vitally important that patients return at least once for examination and post-operative treatment.