Patient Post Treatment Care
Patient Post Treatment Care
Take your time reading and processing the treatment that has been done and what you can do to enhance your comfort, recovery, and adjustment to the change. Please contact your primary dentist if you have further questions about your recent dental care. There is also a dentist available on call after hours if you require immediate assistance beyond the instructions provided here. Click on any of the subjects below that apply for faster navigation.
- Periodontal Maintenance Therapy
- Scaling And Root Planning For Periodontal Disease
- Instructions Following Tooth Extraction
- Instructions Following Crown Cementation
- Instructions Following Bridge Cementation
- Instructions For Patients Who Have Had Aesthetic Bonding Or Tooth-Colored Restorations
- Instructions For Patients After Laser Periodontal Treatment
- Post-Op Instructions for New Partial or Complete Dentures
- Opalescence BOOST: In Office Post Whitening Care Instructions
Periodontal Maintenance Therapy
Periodontal Maintenance Therapy is an ongoing and personalized program designed to prevent the spread of disease in the gum tissue and surrounding bone that supports your teeth. Maintenance therapy is essential for removing the plaque and calculus (tartar) that form above and below the gumline. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly attacks your gums and teeth, and when not removed, hardens to form a rough deposit known as calculus. No matter how carefully you clean your teeth and gums at home. Plaque is constantly forming and can cause a recurrence of periodontal disease within two to four months of a professional cleaning – especially in the deep pocket areas.
How is this type of therapy different from a regular dental cleaning?
Regular dental cleaning – prophylaxis – is performed on patients that have not had treatment to periodontal disease, and are not at high risk for tooth loss due to periodontal disease.
What is included in Periodontal Maintenance Therapy?
At each periodontal maintenance visit an assessment is made of your periodontal health by measuring the depths of the pockets around the teeth, scaling the teeth to remove bacterial plaque and calculus, reviewing your plaque control efficiency at home, taking any necessary x-rays to evaluate teeth and supporting structures, and evaluating your need for further treatment.
How often should you have maintenance visits?
The extent and type of your periodontal disease, and your healing ability, will determine the frequency of your maintenance visits. Your response to therapy is influenced by the effectiveness of your plaque control the different rates of plaque growth and factors that increase your risk of periodontal disease, such as smoking. The interval between Periodontal Maintenance visits varies with a recommendation of three, four or six months, depending on your needs.
THE BEST WAY to prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss is to follow the recommendations in your individual Periodontal Maintenance Therapy Program.
Scaling And Root Planing For Periodontal Disease
PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE is often a painless condition, but may exhibit swollen and bleeding gums. Bacteria (often referred to as plaque or biofilm) and deposits of calculus (tartar) are usually found attached deep under the gum tissue on the tooth’s root surface. The bacteria cause a chronic infection called Periodontal Disease, which may lead to permanent bone loss (deep pockets) and eventual tooth loss.
Scaling and Root Planing is often an initial treatment to help control the progression of Periodontal Disease. This treatment involves removing bacteria and calculus deposits deep within the pockets so the tissues can become healthy.
To minimize discomfort during the Scaling and Root Planing treatment, local anesthetic is usually administered. Following Scaling and Root Planing some minor discomfort and swelling may occur. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are usually helpful. Rinsing with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt per glass of warm water) may also assist in relieving discomfort and aid in the healing process. Temporary sensitivity to cold after Scaling and Root Planing is considered normal. Complete daily removal of bacteria (plaque) at home by brushing and flossing is important to avoid further infection and calculus build up.
Your periodontal health will be re-evaluated at the next appointment, called Periodontal Maintenance. At that time an assessment will be made of the remaining pocket depths, bone loss, and the effectiveness of your daily home care. Recommendations will be given for ongoing maintenance visits or additional treatment that might be needed for your periodontal health. In advanced cases further treatment may involve seeing a specialist called a Periodontist.
Sealants are a thin, clear or white plastic material that is applied to the pits and fissures (grooves) on the biting surfaces of your back teeth.
Sealants are a safe and highly effective way to reduce the decay that occurs despite normal brushing and the use of fluoride. With the use of sealants, decay, being the most widespread dental disease among children, can be reduced significantly. Sealants save the patient time and the expense of having a tooth restored. They work by keeping bacterial plaque and food sugars out of the deep grooves of the molar teeth – where decay most often occurs.
Who Needs Sealants?
Children, usually between the ages of six and 14 years, with newly erupted permanent molars that are not yet decayed.
How are Sealants Done?
The procedure is quite simple. The steps include cleaning the tooth surface, treating the cleaned surface with a special solution (to help the sealant attach to the tooth), applying the sealant material to the tooth enamel, and hardening the material with a special light. Sometimes slight smoothing of the enamel is necessary as a first step.
Do Sealants Need to be Redone?
Sealants will serve to carry a child through the period in which biting surface decay normally occurs. Even when the sealant is not visible, strands of the materials have penetrated the tooth enamel and will continue to protect the tooth. During every regular dental visit, sealants will be checked for possible re-application need. A total prevention program also includes regular dental visits, use of fluoride, brushing and flossing teeth daily, and limiting snacks that are high in sugar.
Instructions Following Tooth Extraction
- Bite on gauze with pressure for one hour following extraction to promote healthy clotting. If bleeding continues after one hour, repack with gauze and bite again.
- Reduce activity for 24 hours.
- Avoid rinsing the mouth, vigorous spitting, sucking through a straw, or alcohol for eight hours. Avoid smoking for at least 48 hours. The consequences for smoking can result in a painful dry socket, thus delaying healing.
- Approximately eight hours after surgery you may begin gentle mouth washes. Rinse with warm salt water every two hours and especially after meals. (1/2 tsp. salt per glass of warm water.) Continue rinses for two weeks.
- Apply ice packs intermittently to the cheek areas overlying the extraction locations. Apply for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off, repeating this sequence for about six hours, or until bedtime.
- Eat a soft, nutritious diet with plenty of fluids.
- Take medications as prescribed by your dentist.
- Some swelling and even bruising is a normal response, and therefore is no cause for undue concern. There will also normally be some discomfort or pain. The prescribed medication should control this discomfort.
- If prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, fever or rash occurs, you should contact our office so that specific instructions can be given.
- Return for appointment for re-evaluation or suture (stitches) removal if indicated by your dentist.
Instructions Following Crown Cementation
We have just cemented a crown for you and would like you to keep a few things in mind for the future. The involved tooth has been reduced in size in order to make room for the crown. The nerve inside the tooth may respond to this procedure by becoming sensitive to hot and cold. This sensitivity usually subsides by itself, but it may take several days or weeks to do so. If you are still experiencing heightened sensitivity four weeks following the procedure, please call.
We have adjusted the crown so that your bite should be correct. Teeth, however, can detect very small changes in the bite. If your bite feels uncomfortable, please call us as soon as possible so that the crown can be adjusted and the tooth will not become sore.
The material used to cement the crown to your tooth hardens over several hours. Please do not chew on the crown for the first 24 hours after it is cemented. This cement holds crowns on very tightly, but the crown can come loose if you chew very sticky foods. If the crown becomes loose or comes off, please call immediately and make an appointment to evaluate appropriate remedies. If the crown has come off, be sure to bring it with you.
We also recommend that you not chew very hard things such as ice and hard candy. The excessive force put on porcelain crowns, and natural teeth, when chewing on these types of things can cause cracks, splitting or other injury.
Decay can still develop around the edges where the crown meets the tooth. Therefore, you must maintain a high level of oral hygiene by brushing and flossing around the crowned tooth, starting today. Quality daily oral hygiene will help you protect the investment you have made in your tooth.
Please let us know if you have any questions concerning your new crown or any other aspect of your treatment with us.
Instructions Following Bridge Cementation
We have just cemented a bridge for you and would like you to keep a few things in mind for the future. The involved teeth have been reduced in size in order to make room for the bridge crowns. The nerves inside these teeth may respond to this procedure by becoming sensitive to hot and cold. This sensitivity usually subsides by itself, but it may take several days or weeks to do so. If you are still experiencing heightened sensitivity four weeks following the procedure, please call.
We have adjusted the bridge so that your bite should be correct. The teeth, however, can detect very small changes in the bite. If your bite feels uncomfortable, please call us as soon as possible so that the bridge can be adjusted and the teeth will not become sore.
The material used to cement the bridge to your teeth hardens over several hours. Please do not chew on the bridge for the first 24 hours after it is cemented. This cement holds the bridge on very tightly, but the bridge can come loose if you chew very sticky foods. If the bridge becomes loose or comes off, please call immediately and make an appointment to evaluate appropriate remedies. If the bridge has come off, be sure to bring it with you.
We also recommend that you not chew very hard things, such as ice and hard candy. The excessive force put on porcelain bridges and natural teeth when chewing on these types of things can cause cracks, splitting or other injury.
Be aware that decay can develop around the edges where the crown meets the tooth. Therefore, you must maintain a high level of oral hygiene by brushing and flossing around the bridge, starting today. Quality daily oral hygiene will help you protect the investment you have made in your teeth.
Please let us know if you have any questions concerning your new bridge or any other aspect of your treatment with us. And remember, continuing care visits are important for maintaining your restoration.
Instructions For Patients Who Have Had Aesthetic Bonding Or Tooth-Colored Restorations
We hope you are pleased with the new appearance of your teeth since you underwent a bonding procedure. Following are a few things to remember.
- Although the composite is already hardened, you should avoid chewing heavily on your new restorations for 24 hours.
- All tooth colored composite restorations will pick up some staining or discoloration over time – usually from tobacco, coffee or tea. The new generation of materials we have used on your teeth tend to stain much less than those previously used. Daily brushing and flossing will also help to decrease the staining tendency.
- Decay can still develop around the edges of bonded restorations, and your gums will be become inflamed if plaque is not removed daily. So once again we emphasize the value of meticulous daily oral hygiene so as to protect the investment you’ve made in your teeth. Normal brushing will not deteriorate or damage bonded restorations.
- We will want to check your bonded teeth periodically in follow-up visits. While bonding generally holds up very well, occasionally a small piece may chip off. If this happens it can usually be repaired without having to re-bond the entire tooth.
- Occasionally we advise special care instructions or limitations specific to one’s particular bonded restorations. These may include certain lifestyle changes or a special night guard for added protection.
If you have any questions about bonding or any other aspect of your treatment with us, do not hesitate to let us know your concerns.
HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS: After Laser Periodontal Treatment
- Vitamins, dietary supplements,or medications may be prescribed to improve your overall health. Take any prescribed medication according to directions.
- Dental laser procedures result in little or no discomfort following surgery. Take prescribed pain medications according to instructions if needed.
- Carefully avoid chewing food in the areas of the mouth where the laser has been used. One of the most important results of laser surgery is the healing that occurs following the initial procedure. It is extremely important not to dislodge the tiny clots (scabs) that form in the gums.
- Brush the teeth by placing the bristles of the brush on the gums below the tooth and carefully rolling the bristles toward the tooth surface. Do not stick the bristles into the gums.
- When flossing, carefully place the floss between the teeth and avoid pushing the floss under the gums until instructed to do so.
- During the first week, eat only soft foods. Do not chew where the surgery was performed.
The length of time it takes for the gums to heal depends upon the severity of the disease. Most healing in the surface areas takes 2–4 weeks. Deeper pocket areas may take several months to completely heal.
- Soft Diet until: Specific time given at your surgery.
- Gentle brushing until: Specific time given at your surgery.
- Gentle flossing until: Specific time given at your surgery.
- Resume normal diet: Specific time given at your surgery.
- Resume normal brushing: Specific time given at your surgery.
- Resume normal flossing: Specific time given at your surgery.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: If excess tooth sensitivity develops, use a fluoride rinse such as Act or Fluoroguard. Rx strength fluoride gels can also be of benefit. Examples are Prevident 5000 and Gel-Kam.
Post-Op Instructions for New Partial or Complete Dentures
- New dentures always require a period of adjustment. First-time denture patients may require several weeks to get used to their new appliance. Speech may be altered, and may require adaptation of the tongue and lips.
- For the first few days, you should wear your dentures for as long as possible, and chew soft food in small bites. Remember, dentures do not have the same chewing efficiency as natural teeth and may affect your taste of food. If your bite feels uneven after several days, we can adjust the way your teeth contact at follow-up visits.
- It is not unusual for sore spots to develop in isolated areas of the mouth. These areas can be relieved easily at follow-up appointments. If a severe sore spot develops which prevents wearing the denture and an appointment is made for adjustment, please wear the denture for 24 hours prior to the appointment. This will greatly aid in locating the exact location of the area, and make adjustments significantly easier and more predictable.
- Proper cleaning of your denture is important to prevent stains and bacteria from accumulating on your appliance. Since cleaning procedures differ for various types of appliances, please follow the directions given to you at your insertion appointment.
- Do not wear your complete or partial dentures to bed. It is important to allow your gum tissues and jaw bones to rest in order to prevent further tissue irritation, infection, and future bone shrinkage.
- Over time, or with weight loss or gain, the supporting gum tissues and bone may change shape and size. Periodic relines of your dentures may be necessary to ensure a retentive fit. Denture teeth may wear or chip over time. For this reason, an annual check of your tissues and dentures is recommended.
Opalescence BOOST: In Office Post Whitening Care Instructions
(To be followed for the first 48 hours)
CONGRATULATIONS! You have just experienced a revolutionary toothwhitening procedure. The next 48 hours are important in enhancing andmaximizing your whitening results for a long lasting, bright and healthy smile. Everyone’s teeth have a protective layer called the acquired pellicle. This layer contains the surface dental stains and is removed during a regular dental cleaning or the whitening process. It takes twelve to twenty four hours for the barrier to fully develop again. To maximize the whitening, we ask that for the next 48 hours, you DO NOT consume dark or yellow staining substances such as:
- All Tobacco Products/ Red Wine / White Wine/ Berries
- Avoid Colored Lipstick /Soft Drinks / Potato Chips /Red Sauces Coffee / Tea / Mustard / Ketchup /Soy Sauce
Remember that you must not use any colored toothpastes or gels for the first 48 hours. In addition, do not use any colored mouthwash or home fluoride treatments. If your daily homecare involves the use of Perio Rx or any Chlorihexidine, please wait 48 hours before continuing the usage of this product. If post operative sensitivity occurs, chew sugarless gum to reduce the peroxide levels, take an Advil or Tylenol, or what you would normally use for a headache.
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