After undergoing any sort of dental procedure, it is common to have a period of recovery time. For minor procedures, instructions for post-treatment care may be as simple as eating soft foods for 24 hours. For more complex treatments, post-treatment care may be slightly more involved.

After Cosmetic Reconstruction

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite after your smile makeover in Westchester. When the bite is altered or the positions of teeth are changed, it can take several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness. If you continue to detect any high spots, clicking, or other problems with your bite, call our office so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

After your dental procedure, it’s important to follow our instructions to speed healing.

It is completely normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. Your teeth will require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure, and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (one tablet of Tylenol or ibuprofen (Motrin) every three to four hours) should ease any residual discomfort.

Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. This is normal and you will quickly adapt and return to normal speech patterns. You may also notice increased salivation; this should subside in about a week, and is caused by your brain processing the shape and feel of your altered teeth.

Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular dental cleanings, so keep your follow-up and any subsequent appointments, and don’t forget to faithfully follow your oral hygiene regime at home.

Be as careful of your new teeth as you should be of natural ones. Any food that can crack, chip, or damage a natural tooth can do the same to artificial teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances (such as beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, pencils, and/or sticky candies.) Minimize or avoid foods or substances that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea, berries, and nicotine.

If you engage in sports, ask us for a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night-guard we have provided for you. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, don’t hesitate to call and ask for help, advice, or encouragement.

After Crown & Bridge Appointments

Dental crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared to accept the restoration, 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 has completely worn off.

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary prosthesis to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.

To help keep your temporary piece in place, avoid eating sticky foods (such as gum) and hard foods, and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the half-finished restoration. It is important to brush normally and continue to floss. To make sure you do not dislodge the temporary crown, floss carefully by pulling the floss out from the side of the temporary crown rather than pulling up on the floss between the teeth.

It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. This is the reason for the instructions to bite down hard on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad over the wound and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times before the clot forms and stops the bleeding.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids in 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 significantly slow the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After a tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication you have been prescribed 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 a lot of fluids 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 in the areas of the mouth away from the extraction site. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day, to speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days, you should be feeling little or no discomfort and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a negative reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

After Composite (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 lips while you are numb.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every three to four hours as needed for pain) work 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. Composite fillings 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.