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AFTER CARE INSTRUCTIONS: CROWN & BRIDGE PROSTHETICS AND COSMETIC VENEERS

Your treatment today consisted of the permanent placement of one or more crowns, bridges or veneers.  It might take a while to get used to how it feels, especially if there has been a change in the shape and size of your teeth.  Wherever it refers to “crown” in these instructions, the same also applies to bridges, onlays and veneers.

Anesthetic

  • Your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment.  Avoid any chewing and hot foods or liquids until the numbness has completely worn off.  It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. 

  • It is recommended that you take some Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) before the anesthetic completely wears off.  This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where your anesthetic was administered. 

 

Pain & Discomfort

  • Your teeth may be sensitive to temperature, pressure and even certain types of food or sweets. Although this does not happen in every case, it is not uncommon. The sensitivity may last from a few days to a few weeks. 

 

  • If it seems that the crown contacts before your other teeth when you chew or close, or contacts heavier than your other teeth, it can make the tooth sensitive.  Please call our office for a bite adjustment as soon as possible.

  • After the procedure you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect and can make swelling and pain worse. DO NOT apply the ice pack directly to your skin; rather, use a paper towel to prevent irritation to the skin.

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  • Take pain medications as prescribed. Do not take medications that you are allergic to.  If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone.

  • If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, please call our office immediately.  

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  • Stiffness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth. This will usually resolve within a few days.

 

Diet

  • Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the procedure. Avoid foods and drinks that are hot or cold in temperature for 48 hours. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable. 

  • Avoid all crunchy, tough or hard foods, such as: ice, popcorn kernels, hard candy, mints, lozenges, nuts, peanut brittle, hard edges of pizza, tortilla chips, etc., which could break the crown. Avoid putting strain of any kind on the crown.

  • Limit substances that stain teeth, such as tea, coffee and red wine, since they will also stain the cement used to attach the crown to the tooth over time. Foods that may cause staining include berries, tomato sauce and beets. Smoking also produces stains, especially on the edge of the crown where the bonding cement was applied.

 

Oral Hygiene

  • Crowns are still susceptible to decay near the gum line the same as a natural tooth. Consistent and thorough daily oral hygiene is essential to the proper maintenance of your crowns.  Brushing, flossing and rinsing with recommended products are critical. Use any recommended or prescribed products as directed by your dentist.

 

  • Your gum tissue may be tender for a short time after treatment. Rinse with warm salt water (use one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) 2-3 times a day to get relief from any soreness and to help keep the treated area clean and free of any debris.

 

  • It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include gentle brushing with an ultra soft brush and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, except at the treatment site. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. 

  • If you have a bridge, follow special cleaning instructions as explained by your dentist.

  • Do not use an electric toothbrush or a waterpik for 2 weeks following your procedure. 

Activities

  • It is important to remember that while crowns are strong restorations they are not indestructible. Crowns should be protected from hard impacts. Biting on ice, grinding your teeth, or using your teeth as tools to separate something or tear off something not edible will put a greater strain and impact on the crowns and could damage them permanently.

  • Factors that increase the biting force and stresses on crowns and bridges (as well as all the other structures of the mouth) include night grinding, sports and other activities that cause heavy clenching (like weight lifting) and high stress occupations which may cause a frequent clenching and grinding during work.  If any of these factors apply to you, you should have a mouth guard made to protect not only the crowns, but also the rest of the intact teeth  .

  • Do not drink any alcoholic beverages while taking the prescribed medication.

 

Follow Up Treatment

The success of your treatment depends on keeping all of your scheduled appointments and maintaining your home care as explained by your dentist.  Failure to follow these instructions will result in serious complications that will require further treatment and incur additional fees.

Following most dental procedures there may or may not be pain, depending on your threshold of pain.  You will be provided with a prescription for appropriate medication for discomfort.  In most cases, a non-narcotic pain regimen will be given consisting of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil).  If a narcotic has been prescribed, follow the directions carefully.  If you have any questions about these medications interacting with other medications you are presently taking, please call our office, your physician and/or your pharmacist.

IF FOR ANY REASON YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CONDITION, NOTIFY DR MORRIS OR A MEMBER OF OUR OFFICE STAFF IMMEDIATELY BY CALLING THE NUMBERS BELOW IN THE ORDER LISTED.

 

Office (780) 962-3414

The cell number provided by your primary dentist at our office

WestView Health Centre (780) 968-3600 or your nearest hospital

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