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Patient Instructions


General Guidelines for all procedures:

Do not chew on hard, sticky or chewy foods for a least 24 hours. Never chew on ice. Avoid aggressive chewing and sticky foods such as “hard tack” candies that can loosen or damage a restoration. Carefully follow all guidelines provided by the doctor and their staff and most importantly practice good oral hygiene. Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. Please click on the below topics for detailed instructions. In the event of an emergency, please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.


How to Prepare For Dental Implant / Bone Graft Surgery

  • Take your regularly scheduled medications as usual.
  • Fill your prescriptions that were given to you by us.
  • Take your first dose of antibiotic pill 1 hour prior to your appointment.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing. A short sleeve is recommended for IV sedation. No high heels, neck ties, tight belts.
  • Do not schedule any high-impact activity (examples are contact sports, tennis, running on hard surfaces or treadmills, etc) for at least 48 hours following the procedure.
  • If you are not being sedated, you may eat or drink as you wish before the procedure. Prepare nutritious, filling, but easy to eat food items for consumption after your surgery (examples are fish, eggs, pasta, etc).
  • Do not schedule distant travel definitely for the first week, preferably for two weeks.

If You Are Scheduled to Undergo IV Sedation:

  • Do not eat or drink for a minimum of 6 hours prior to your appointment.
  • You must come to your appointment with an escort. This adult will be responsible for seeing you home safely.
  • Do not drink any alcohol 3 days before your appointment.
  • If you smoke, try to stop or curtail it for as least one week before your appointment. This will help keep your lungs clear and decrease mucus in your throat. Also, nicotine has been shown to dramatically slow the healing process.
Your root canal treatment may take one or more visits to complete. During treatment, the diseased pulp will be removed, the canal will be cleaned, shaped, and filled to prevent recontamination. This document will answer some of your questions abut what to expect and how to take care of your mouth during and after the procedure.

What to Expect After Treatment

  • Because cleaning the root canals may cause inflammation of tissues surrounding the tooth, you may experience some discomfort for a day or so.
  • Over the counter analgesics usually alleviate the discomfort. If the discomfort continues, or if you have severe pain or swelling, call us for re-evaluation and a prescription.
  • Between appointments, a temporary filling or crown is placed. Since temporary restorations eventually loosen, return promptly following root canal treatment for a final restoration.
  • Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed to help control infection. Please take all medications as directed.

How to Take Care of Your Mouth

  • Avoid chewing or biting directly on the treated tooth until your final restoration is placed.
  • If medications are prescribed, take them as directed
  • Return for a follow up exam after treatment as directed to make sure there has been proper healing of tissues surrounding the root.

Retreatment May Occasionally be Necessary

Even though the pulp or the tooth is removed, your tooth is still nourished from surrounding tissues. As with any living tissue, treatment is occasionally unsuccessful, and a re-treatment, or removal of the tooth may be necessary.

For your safety and comfort, please review the following information carefully. If you have any questions, please be sure to ask one of us for clarification.

  • Some blood may be slowly oozing from the surgical site. Bite down on a piece of gauze for about 15 minutes. If oozing continues, change the piece of gauze and repeat. If it has not stopped after that, dampen a tea bag and use it instead of the gauze. (it needs to be tea, not a herbal alternative) If there is active bleeding that requires constant evacuation, contact our office at the number listed above.
  • Wait until your numbness to wear off before eating.
  • Do not use a straw for 48 hours.
  • Do not smoke for 48 hours.
  • You may rinse your mouth gently, but do not forcefully expectorate for 48 hours. After you rinse, lean over the sink, and let gravity take the water out.
  • Keep the rest of your mouth clean. You can brush the rest of your teeth. Using drinking water to brush with is a good idea, this way there will be no spitting.
  • Apply cold compress to your face on the side of the surgery. 20 minutes on – 20 minutes off up to 48 hours to keep the swelling down
  • After 48 hours, if you are swollen, warm compress can help dissolve the swelling and relax your muscles.
  • Sleep with your head elevated. Use extra pillows.
  • If you have dentures, you may keep them in until your next visit. Take them out and clean them after meals, then re-insert.
  • If you remove your denture, then have trouble re-inserting, do not force it. Your face may keep swelling while your denture is out, and it may not seat back in right. Return to the office for us to adjust and place it for you.
  • Eat nourishing foods that do not require hard work. Try eggs, fish, yogurt, soup, pasta, jell-o, oatmeal, etc. They can be hot or cold.
  • Take the medications prescribed for you as directed, if you have a reaction to any of your medicine, please contact us, or if it is urgent, call 911 immediately.

If you had a Sinus Lift, you may experience the following:

  • Nose bleeding
  • Black and blue bruising under the eyes

Please take the following additional precautions:

  • Do not blow your nose!
  • If you have to sneeze, do it with your mouth open to avoid pressure in your sinus area!
Here are a few tips to maintain them in good shape over time:

  • Your appliance is made to separate your upper and lower teeth, and therefore stop or slow your clenching and/or grinding habit, and provide relief. It only works with regular use. Try to wear it consistently. If for any reason you are unable to do so, please return to our office so we can make the necessary adjustments.
  • Do not try to eat with your appliance in your mouth.
  • Do remove and clean your prosthesis every morning with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Do not drink anything other than plain water with your appliance in your mouth!
  • Do not wrap up your appliance in paper towels, napkins, etc. Keep them in the container we provided for you.
  • Do not expose them to direct heat or cold.
  • Do not soak them in household cleaners, bleach, soap, or other liquids.
  • You may use an effervescent denture cleaner tablet to clean it once daily. You do not need to leave them in this solution the whole day. Once it stops bubbling, you can rinse it with clean water and place in your denture cup with some fresh water in it.
  • It does not need to be completely submerged under water. Some water is adequate.
  • Be mindful of pets, they love stealing and chewing them.
  • Bring them to your cleaning and maintenance visits for evaluation.
  • Observe any changes such as appliance getting loose, tight, or unstable. It may be a sign of your prosthesis needing service.
Here are a few tips to maintain them in good shape over time:

  • Give yourself time to get used to chewing with your new prosthesis, it is a new tool you need to get used to working with. Do not take on the most difficult foods in the beginning, start slow.
  • If you get sore spots, do not expect them to go away on their own, return for your follow up visits so we can adjust them for you.
  • Do remove and clean your prosthesis after each meal with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Do not sleep with your prosthesis.
  • Do not wrap up your appliance in paper towels, napkins, etc. Keep them in the container we provided for you.
  • Do not expose them to direct heat or cold.
  • Do not soak them in household cleaners, bleach, soap, or other liquids.
  • You may use an effervescent denture cleaner tablet to clean it once daily. You do not need to leave them in this solution the whole day. Once it stops bubbling, you can rinse it with clean water and place in your denture cup with some fresh water in it.
  • Dentures do not need to be completely submerged under water. Some water is adequate.
  • Be mindful of pets, they love stealing and chewing them.
  • If you smoke, or consume a lot of staining foods such as coffee, tea, etc. you may want to consider an ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Bring them to your cleaning and maintenance visits for evaluation.
  • Observe any changes such as dentures getting loose, tight, or unstable. It may be a sign of your prosthesis needing service.

Crowns and Bridges may take one to three visits to complete. The dentist will inform you of your treatment options and the time needed to complete the procedure. You may have some sensitivity following treatment with tenderness around the gum and tooth for a day or two. If the tenderness or sensitivity lasts longer than this please contact our office. If anesthesia is used, avoid chewing, biting, and eating until the numbness has worn off. If you have a temporary placed eat softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly crunchy, chewy or hard. If the temporary restorations become loose or break, please call us immediately.

Carefully clean around the restoration, brushing and flossing daily. When flossing, take extra care not to loosen the temporary restoration by removing the floss too roughly. You can slowly thread the floss out by one end if necessary to avoid too much pressure on the temporary.

Once your final restoration has been placed avoid chewing on hard, crunchy or sticky foods for 24 hours in order to give time for the cement to fully bond. Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods is not unusual and should dissipate after a few weeks. If sensitivity lasts more than six weeks please let the office know, although this happens infrequently.

Ongoing care for your restoration includes brushing your teeth after every meal and snack, and flossing at least once a day before bedtime. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash with also help to remove any additional particles that may have been missed during brushing and flossing.

Please call our office if you are in pain or have any questions regarding your treatment.

Do not eat or chew until any numbness from anesthesia has worn off. If you are supervising a child who had treatment, make certain that they are not eating or chewing while numb. Please make sure they do not bite their lips or tongue as it can cause serious injury to their soft tissue. Avoid sticky, crunchy or hard foods for 24 hours.

Sensitivity to cold and heat, as well as any soreness, shouldn’t last more than a few days. Please call our office if you experience pain or discomfort for more than a few days.

Invisalign® Instructions

Do

  • Use your fingers to put your aligners place.  First place the aligners over your front teeth, and then use your fingers to push the aligner down gently over your molars. When aligners are correctly inserted, they will fit all the way down on the teeth, with no space between the top of the aligners and the top of the teeth.  Aligners will fit tightly at first but should fit well at the end of the two week period.
  • Keep aligners in except when flossing, brushing, eating.  It’s also best to remove the aligners when drinking warm beverages such as coffee or tea.
  • Remove the aligner by pulling it off both sides of your back teeth simultaneously then lifting it off of your front teeth.
  • Place your aligners in the case we provided any time they are not being worn.
  • Clean aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Wear each set of aligners for two weeks unless our office directs you to vary from this schedule.
  • Wear aligners in the correct numerical order. (Each aligner is labeled by number and with a U or an L to designate upper or lower.)
  • Keep all of your old aligners and bring them to your orthodontic appointments.

Don’t

  • Don’t place your aligners in or on a napkin or tissue.  Many aligners have accidentally been thrown out this way!
  • Don’t use your teeth to “bite” your aligners into place.
  • If you have pets, don’t place your aligners anywhere that your pets can reach them. Pets are attracted to saliva and would enjoy chewing on your Invisalign trays!
  • Do not use Denture cleaner, alcohol, or bleach to clean your aligners.
  • Do not use boiling water or warm water on your aligners.
  • Don’t chew gum with your aligners in.
  • It would be best not to smoke while wearing aligners. The smoke can stain the aligners as well as your teeth.

Just in Case

If you lose the tab attached to your tooth that helps the aligner snap on, please call our office right away so that we can determine if you need to come in before your next scheduled appointment.

If you lose one of your aligner trays, please wear the next tray if you have it. If you do not have the next tray, please wear the previous tray.  It is extremely important to use a tray to keep teeth from shifting.  Call our office to let us know which tray was lost so that we can determine if a replacement tray is needed.  There will be a fee if replacement trays are required.

For the first 48 Hours Following Bleaching:

Teeth are more susceptible to staining for 48 hours after bleaching treatments. For the 48 hours after whitening, it is best to avoid dark-colored food or beverages that can stain your teeth. Any item that can stain your clothes, can also stain your teeth.

Avoid: berries, cola or other dark sodas, red wine, coffee and tea, tobacco and ketchup, soy or other dark sauces.

Using Your Custom Trays:

Follow the instructions given by our office, placing the bleaching gel in the center of each tooth position on the tray so that the gel will rest against the anterior surface of the teeth once it is placed in your mouth. Wear trays for the recommended time. Rinse the mouth and gently remove any gel remaining on your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush. Clean the trays.


Instructions for How to Prepare for Dental Surgery and Sedation
Instructions Following Root Canal
Instructions Following Implant Surgery/Implant Treatment
Instructions for Use and Care of Complete and Partial Dentures
Instructions for Use and Care of Occlusal Guards and Retainers