If medications have been prescribed for pain or infection, make sure you obtain these before the anesthetic wears off. Taking these medications as soon as you are home can help prevent complications. If pain medications have been prescribed that can cause drowsiness they may impair your ability to drive and perform delicate tasks. Avoid all activities requiring your full alert attention while on this medication. Female patients should be aware that antibiotics can interfere with certain oral contraceptives and alternate methods should be used. Avoid strenuous physical activity for the first 48-72 hours after the procedure. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to assist the healing process but avoid using a straw. A cold compress can be placed on the treated areas intermittently (5-1 0 minutes every half hour as needed) for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling. After this, warm moist compresses can be placed intermittently to reduce swelling if needed. A slight increase in temperature may be noted for the first day or two after surgery. In the event a fever develops that exceeds 101 degrees, contact the doctor especially if this is associated with limited opening. Soft diets are best for the first few days and avoid any spicy foods. Returning to your normal balanced diet will promote healing. After each visit when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid chewing or use caution when chewing to prevent damage to the teeth or soft tissues. It is normal to experience some discomfort from the time the anesthetic wears off and for a period of several days after treatment especially when chewing. Taking pain medications or antibiotics if prescribed can reduce these issues. On the day following the implant surgery, light gentle brushing can begin. Gentle rinsing can start 24 hours after treatment using warm salt water rinse or a commercial mouthwash. These should be limited to not more than 4-5 times daily. If an antibacterial rinse is prescribed, follow your doctor's instructions. If the top of the implant is visible, you can use a Q-tip dipped in commercial mouthwash to clean the area gently. It's important that biting pressure be minimized during early implant healing. If a removable temporary was placed, it should not contact the implant area. If a temporary was placed, it should be free of contact with opposing teeth. Biting contact with food should be avoided in the surgical area as much as possible for entire healing period. Bruising can occur after the implant placement. This will dissipate normally over the next several days. If there is any tightness of the jaw, it can be relieved by a warm compress or towel in the affected area. Some implant surgical cases involve sutures that dissolve by themselves and some require a visit to remove the sutures. If your sutures are not the type that dissolve, be sure to have them removed at a follow-up visit within 10 days of the procedure. Implant healing and long-term success is impacted by smoking. Avoid smoking for a few days after the surgery and consider long-term cessation for ideal implant health. In the event the area remains painful or exhibits signs of increasing swelling after the first few days, please contact the office. If there are replacement teeth of any sort that seem to put pressure on the area, contact the office for an adjustment.
After tooth extraction, it's important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. We ask that you bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment to aid in this process. If the bleeding persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. Repeat as needed. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 24 hours. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as it will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack applied to the face near the extraction area will minimize swelling. Place on the area intermittently (5-10 minutes every half hour as needed) for the first 24 hours to reduce swelling. After this, warm moist compresses can be placed intermittently to reduce swelling if needed. Take pain medications as prescribed. Some pain medications can cause drowsiness and are not suitable if you are driving a vehicle or working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Some antibiotics may cause reduced effectiveness of birth control medications necessitating alternative methods of birth control. Swelling will usually subside after 48 hours. In the event of prolonged pain, swelling or bleeding, contact the office for instructions. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat soft foods on the day of the extraction. You may introduce normal foods as your comfort allows. It is important to resume your normal dental routine of brushing and flossing after 24 hours. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
If medications have been prescribed for pain or infection, make sure you obtain these before the anesthetic wears off. Taking these medications as soon as you are home can help prevent complications . After each visit when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid chewing or use caution when chewing to prevent damage to the teeth or soft tissues. It is normal to experience some discomfort from the time the anesthetic wears off and for a period of several days after treatment especially when chewing. Taking pain medications or antibiotics if prescribed can reduce these issues. Some pain medications can cause drowsiness and are not suitable if you are driving a vehicle or working. Some antibiotics may cause reduced effectiveness of birth control medications necessitating alternative methods of birth control. The tooth is very fragile following treatment and eating sticky or hard foods should be avoided until a crown is placed. A temporary filling may be placed in the tooth either between visits or until a filling or crown is completed. If a small portion breaks away you may be able to feel this with your tongue or taste the medicated material inside. If a large portion breaks off, call the office to have it replaced. Make sure you brush and floss normally. Contact the office if you notice a visible swelling inside or outside the mouth, a rash, hives or itching, the original symptoms return or if your bite feels uneven.
Your temporary crown or bridge is made of durable material but is only meant to last while a permanent restoration is being made for you. Temporary cement is used to hold it in until it is professionally removed. There are fewer color options for temporary materials so your crown may not match the surrounding teeth exactly. While temporaries are custom made for each patient, they will not match the design, fit or function of the final restoration. Their function is to protect the underlying tooth and to prevent movement of teeth in the area. You may notice some sensitivity to heat, cold or sweets. These symptoms will gradually disappear if the tooth is healthy once the permanent restoration is delivered. Initially, avoid the area completely for at least one half hour to allow the temporary material and cement to set. If you are numb, avoid the area until the numbness has worn off to prevent damage to the soft tissues of your mouth. Avoid chewing any sticky foods such as chewing gum or candies that may loosen or remove the temporary. Avoid any hard foods and cut food into smaller pieces to prevent damaging the temporary. Even bread or doughy foods can create problems. The health of the gum tissue around the temporary is critical in controlling bleeding and moisture during the next phase of treatment. Proper master impressions and final cementation may be impossible if the tissue is traumatized. Be sure to brush and floss carefully but consistently. You can floss the area but do not bring the floss up through the contact but rather pull it out slowly through the side. If the tissue is tender, rinse with warm salt water.
Jaw pain and difficulty with movements of the lower jaw may indicate problems with the TMJ (temperomandibular joint) or the muscles associated with it. This joint is located just in front of the ear canal opening and can be found by placing the fingers in this area and slowly opening and closing. Treatment for TMJ problems begins with conservative management of the involved area to help manage symptoms and aid the healing process. Heat or ice can reduce joint or muscle pain. Moist heat: Apply to areas that ache using a heating pad that supplies moist heat, a wet towel over a hot water bottle, a gel type pack or simply a wet wash cloth heated in a microwave. Avoid burning the skin. Ice: An ice cube or gel pack can be placed directly over the jaw joint for 5-10 minutes at a time for 3-4 times daily. Avoid frosting the skin. Reduce the force on the joints. Avoid foods that require a lot of chewing including excessively hard or sticky foods such as steak, pizza crusts, bagels and candies. If a food causes pain when being chewed either avoid it or cut it into smaller pieces that will reduce joint force. A soft diet is best. Try to chew on both sides to avoid excessive forces on one side. Chewing gum is absolutely to be avoided. Avoid clenching your teeth together. During waking hours try to keep the phrase "lips together, teeth apart" in mind. Check your jaw position especially during stressful situations to note its position. Placing the tip of your tongue in the roof of your mouth behind the front teeth is an easy trick to reduce clenching and resultant joint force. Avoid habits such as nail biting, pen biting or resting your jaw on your hand. Beware of opening excessively wide. Avoid stretching muscles and ligaments within the jaw joint beyond their capacity to heal. When yawning support your lower jaw with your fist below your chin. Avoid dental appointments that involve extended mouth opening if you are experiencing a painful episode. Limit intake of sugar, caffeine and nicotine. Sugar and caffeine are stimulants to the nervous system resulting in increased muscle activity. Nicotine causes blood sugar to rise increasing muscle activity. Sleep on your back if possible. Place a pillow under your knees and a small pillow under your neck to facilitate this. Sleeping on your side can place undue unbalanced pressure on the joint system. Medication can help. Medications with anti-inflammatory activity such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Bear in mind these do not prevent damage so make sure you follow management instructions to reduce jaw pain long term.