Home Care Instructions
Home Dental Care Instructions
The following are instructions for after your procedure to ensure a comfortable recovery:
Please do not hesitate to call our office at (718) 591-3444 if you should have any questions.
You may experience numbness in the lips, cheeks, and tongue for several hours after this procedure due to the anesthetic. In order to avoid the risk of accidentally burning or biting your tongue or lip during this time (which can turn into a painful situation once the anesthetic wears off), you should refrain from drinking hot beverages and chewing until the numbness has worn off completely. Composite fillings are fully set by the time you leave the office, so it is okay to chew as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off.
A heightened sensitivity to temperature and pressure is normal following your appointment, as well as a feeling of soreness at the injection sites. Over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and aspirin should effectively alleviate this sensitivity.
Please contact our office if you experience any of the following:
Soreness lasting for more than a few days
If your bite feels like it is uneven
After Tooth Extraction The best thing you can do for yourself after having this procedure done is to bite on a gauze pad for 30 – 45 minutes afterwards. The reason for this is that after tooth extraction, the healing process will only begin after the blood has clotted. If bleeding or oozing still persists, bite down on a fresh gauze pad for an additional 30 minutes. Keep in mind that everybody is different, and it may be necessary to repeat this process several times until a clot has formed. In the 72 hours after the procedure, it is crucial to preserve the integrity of the clot in order to avoid painful, unnecessary rupture. Activities to avoid are as follows:
Brushing close to the extraction site
Strong rinsing. If it is absolutely necessary, do it gently.
Use of straws
One should limit vigorous exercise in the 24 hours following the procedure as the resultant increase in blood pressure can cause the extraction site to begin bleeding again. Swelling is a normal side effect of extraction. An ice pack or a bag of small frozen veggies (peas, corn) will help to minimize this swelling, which usually subsides after 48 hours. Use the prescribed pain medication and/or antibiotics as directed. On the day of the extraction, drink plenty of fluids. As soon as you are comfortable post-procedure, you can resume eating normally. It is important to resume brushing and flossing to normal after the first 24 hours, as this will help speed the healing. Please call our office if you experience any of the following after Extraction:
Continued swelling for 2-3 days
After Cosmetic Reconstruction As meticulously close as we get to your ideal natural teeth, a new bite will take a few days for your brain to catch up to and adjust to the changes. There are some things that can be expected with this adjustment period that may seem strange, but are completely normal. While your brain is catching up to “the new normal”, you may notice increased salivation. Do not fret, as this is merely your brain’s response to the new shape and size of your teeth, and it will soon adjust. Another factor that will take some adjusting to is your speech. Thankfully, we are adaptive and your speech will soon return to normal as your brain makes the necessary adjustments.
As with many dental surgeries, temperature sensitivity will likely be present in the days following surgery. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Rinsing with a teaspoon of salt mixed into a cup of warm water will reduce swelling. It is recommended that you do this saltwater rinse 3 times per day and take pain medication as needed.
As with the natural teeth, you must always engage in your daily brushing/flossing routine. Anything that can stain or damage your natural teeth can do the same to your new teeth. This includes drinking wine/coffee and eating foods such as peanut brittle and beer nuts, as well as smoking.
Please let us know if you play sports or grind your teeth at night, and we will fashion a custom mouthguard for you to ensure the long-term success of your new teeth.
Please call our office if feelings of abnormality with the teeth persist after the first week, as this can mean that an adjustment appointment is necessary.
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
As with any procedure that requires an oral anesthetic, please refrain from chewing and drinking hot beverages until feeling has returned completely, as you run the risk of biting your tongue, lips, or cheek which can cause pain later.
Typically, the process of implementing crowns and bridges takes 2 – 3 appointments. The teeth are fitted with temporary crowns until the process is complete.
Rarely, a temporary crown may come off. If this happens, call the office immediately and bring the temporary crown with you so that we can put it back into place. It is very important to not leave any “wiggle room” for the other teeth to shift (and they will if left without a crown in the interim) as this would compromise the fit of your final restoration.
While you have the temporary crowns in, avoid eating gum and taffy, hard foods (think “peanut brittle”), and if possible, chew mainly with your natural teeth. During this time, it is important to brush normally. Be gentle with flossing. You don’t want to pull your floss up too hard around the temporary crown and run the risk of dislodging it.
Temperature and chewing sensitivity are normal after each appointment, and should subside a few weeks after the process is complete. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed.
Please contact the office is pain and sensitivity are persistent.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Right Age to Start Visit the Dentist?
According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should receive their first dental checkup between six months and one year of age. This will allow your dentist to confirm the healthy development of your child’s baby teeth. From this point on, regular checkups once every six months should be the norm unless your dentist recommends otherwise.
How do I schedule my next checkup?
Simply click the book an appointment button on your screen to schedule an appointment at your convenience! Our front desk staff will be happy to hear from you. Please let us know if you are a new patient and we will work with you to make sure that your first appointment goes smoothly and comfortably!
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common dental problems—and also one of the most easily treated and avoided. Caused by plaque and bacteria buildup, gum disease can be further aggravated by tobacco use, teeth grinding, and certain medications. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Left untreated, however, gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss. Here are a few common symptoms of gum disease:
- Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Receding gum line
- Abscessed teeth
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole inside of a tooth caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay is generally caused when plaque builds up outside the tooth and combines with sugar and starches in food ad drinks. This produces an acid that destroys tooth enamel and makes tooth decay possible. Left untreated, cavities can cause serious oral health problems—not to mention quite a deal of pain! The best way to prevent cavities is by regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups.
What are the Secrets to Good Oral Health?
- Brush your teeth a minimum of two times per day.
- Just as importantly, floss at least once!
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to help prevent cavities.
- Avoid foods with a lot of sugar, as sugar increases the amount bacteria in your mouth.
- Avoid tobacco, as it stains your teeth and greatly increases your risk for oral cancer.
- Brush your tongue in order to remove food particles, reduce bacteria, and keep your breath smelling fresh.
- Change your toothbrush every three months.
- Schedule a routine checkup with your dentist every six months, even if your teeth feel fine!
How often should I see the dentist?
As mentioned above, the general consensus (which is also promoted by the American Dental Association) states that most adults and children should visit the dentist twice per year—roughly once every six months. However, it is important to remember that patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may need to visit the dentist more often. The only way to be certain about your individual needs is to speak with a dentist.
How Can I Find the Right Dentist for Me and My Family?
Choosing a dentist is a personal decision that should be made based upon your dental needs, as well as your personal values. Here are a few of the reasons we believe that Digital Dental Arts is the best choice for our patients.
- Convenient scheduling options.
- Central location right off the Union Turnpike in Queens.
- State-of- the-Art facility.
- Special attention to making our patients feel comfortable.
- Attention to preventative care and the development of good dental habits.
- Straightforward payment process and willingness to work with insurance companies.
Why visit the dentist?
The general medical consensus affirms that the average patient should see the dentist roughly once every six months. Unfortunately, many people do not take this seriously because they do not understand the importance of dental checkups. Here are a few reasons why visiting the dentist is important.
- Defends against tooth decay
- Lowers your risk of chronic bad breath.
- Protects against gum disease, (known professionally as Periodontal Disease.)
- Lowers your risk of tooth and bone loss
- Eliminate the stains that develop inevitably due to food, drinks, and tobacco
- Strengthens your teeth, which can improve the quality of your life for years to come.
- Helps you look and feel your best, knowing that you have a healthier and more attractive smile!
Do I still Need Regular Dental Checkups if I have Braces?
Absolutely! Although you may be seeing your orthodontist regularly, it is still very important that you see your dentist regularly. In fact, it is especially important that you receive regular cleaning, as braces can trap food and particles in a manner that is difficult for regular brushing to remove. This can increase your risk of many oral conditions. Dental checkups will allow your dentist to work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your mouth stays clean and healthy while wearing braces.
What is a filling?
As the name suggests, fillings are used to fill cavities after they have been treated. Here are a few important facts about fillings that all patients should know:
- Receiving a filling is generally painless due to anesthetics.
- Fillings are made from specially chosen materials designed to be safe and comfortable.
- If you think you might need a filling, contact your dentist as soon as possible.