Dr Barry Craig Ries, D.D.S., P.L.
Dental Prosthodontics-Cosmetic & Esthetic Dental Restorations

Home Care Instructions

Home Care Instructions

After Scaling & Root Planing (deep cleaning)

Most patients experience little or no discomfort after scaling and root planing. The most frequent complaints are: slight tenderness of the gum tissue, teeth that are mildly sensitive to cold drinks and foods, and discomfort when eating spicy foods. You may do the following to minimize any of these inconveniences:

 Avoid eating spicy foods for several days.

 Take an over-the-counter analgesic such as Advil or Aleve® before your local anesthesia wears off. Later, you can take the same medication if you have any tenderness of the gums. If you must avoid these analgesics because you are already taking NSAID's, are allergic to them, or you have ulcers, then you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Please follow dosage recommendations on the product labels.

 You may rinse with warm salt water as often as you wish. Stir no more than 1/4 teaspoonful of table salt and 1/4 teaspoonful of baking soda into a cup of warm water to use as your rinse solution. This will help sooth any gum tissues that may be tender after the root planing procedure.

 It is important to maintain good plaque control to promote optimal healing after scaling and root planing. Therefore, please perform all home care procedures as prescribed by your dentist or hygienist.

 You may experience some discomfort when you drink cold liquids or eat cold foods. This sensitivity is the most common complaint after root planing and is due to removal of tartar and a minute amount of tooth root surface. Any sensitivity should gradually go away in a few weeks; however, in some cases, the sensitivity can take longer to go away. In rare cases, some permanent sensitivity results. Try to avoid really cold liquids and foods for a few days or more after the scaling and root

After Composite Fillings (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 lip 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 3-4 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 at 813-251-5959

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic anesthesia? completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office.

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Crowns and Bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared 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 is completely worn off.

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us at 813-251-5959 if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.

To keep your temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary crown but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.

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.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids 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 retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this 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 or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office at 813-251-5959 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 lots of fluid 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. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities.

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