after care FAQs
As part of our promise to provide not only the best dentistry and customer care, we offer you full aftercare for each and every dental procedure we provide.
Post operative advice is always given at your appointment if necessary. If there is anything you would like further advice on please do not hesitate to contact our friendly dental team. We encourage our patients to call us for advice on any problems whatsoever.
A selection of aftercare advice sheets can be found below.
Instructions For Home Care After Receiving Cosmetic White Fillings
If local anaesthetic is used
The effects of local anaesthetic normally last 3-4 hours. To avoid damage to your tongue, cheeks and lips, you should avoid chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. Also avoid hot drinks or food if you are very numb.
What if my white fillings hurt?
It is normal to experience some sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure after your appointment. You can also expect some soreness in your gums for a few days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help to alleviate discomfort and swelling. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, then gently swish the water around the tooth and spit it out.
Do I have to be careful with my white fillings?
White fillings set completely immediately after they are placed, so as soon as the numbness from the anaesthetic subsides, you can chew as you would normally.
If your bite feels uneven, or if you have any concerns about your new white filling, be sure to give us a call.
Instructions For “at home” tooth whitening
During the course of your home teeth whitening treatment, please bear the following points in mind in order to achieve the best possible results.
- After each application of teeth whitening gel to your tray, swap out the mixing tip from the syringe and replace it with the plastic cap. This stops air getting to the gel and deactivating it.
- Keep the teeth whitening gel in a cool, dry place.
- Avoid citrus foods and juices, as this may contribute to sensitivity, while you are teeth whitening.
- If there is any sensitivity, use Sensodyne toothpaste instead of the teeth whitening gel in the trays for a day or two. We recommend you brush with Sensodyne toothpaste during the teeth whitening treatment.
- During and shortly after the teeth whitening process, try minimizing the intake of “coloured foods” (coffee red wine, tomato sauce, curries etc) and tobacco as these substances can contribute to re-staining.
- Do not overload the whitening trays with gel as overflow may cause some gum irritation. The best size of gel is roughly the size of a lentil per tooth.
- Do not eat, drink or smoke while wearing the teeth whitening trays. The trays are custom-made to fit your teeth precisely. Such activities may distort the trays. You can, however, talk, work or relax as normal.
- To get the best result quickly, teeth whitening treatment days should not be interrupted. However, if you miss or skip a day, the treatment days should be extended to compensate.
- It is not uncommon to find darker colour residues in the trays where you have old silver fillings. You may also see some gel bubbles within the trays as you are wearing them. This is part of the teeth whitening process.
- The neck of the tooth (area next to the gum) may take slightly longer to lighten. It will appear slightly darker than the other parts of the tooth at the end of your treatment which is how it naturally looks.
- The shade of your teeth will continue to lighten for up to two weeks after the application is completed.
It is advised to wear the teeth whitening trays for an hour
- Minimum of 2 hours interval between applications.
- If you have sensitivity, please reduce your wear time by half the time with the same number of applications but also with 4 hours gap between your applications.
- If you still have sensitivity then also reduce the amount of gel you are putting into the trays.
- If sensitivity still occurs please contact us.
Your teeth will now be noticeably whiter than before and stay whiter for a long time. We recommend you “top up” the whitening by wearing the trays with gel for ½ to one hour maybe every three months. This should maintain the whiter shade of teeth for most people.
Advice for Patients with new cosmetic dentures
- Eating: Avoid any excessive pressure onto the cosmetic dentures. This is very important. You should only eat soft nutritious food for two weeks. Avoid hard sticky foods. Maintain a soft, nutritious diet.
- Hygiene: cleaning of the cosmetic denture is very important. Clean the cosmetic dentures with a toothbrush and ordinary soap/water. Use Steradent tablets in water occasionally to clean your denture.
- Leave your cosmetic dentures out at night, soaking in water. It is healthier to leave denture(s) out at night. It has been shown that patients who wear dentures all the time tend to collect more harmful plaque in the mouth. This causes inflammation and redness of the denture bearing tissues, gum disease and decay of teeth.
- Gradually increase the time you wear your cosmetic dentures. This way your mouth will get used to them. As you feel more comfortable with your cosmetic dentures you can vary your diet more. This way eating food will be more comfortable. If your mouth gets sore take your cosmetic dentures out and let your mouth relax.
- If your cosmetic dentures are sore anywhere get them adjusted accordingly.
Note: It is very important that you maintain your oral hygiene and home care at a high standard to ensure no plaque builds up around the gums, and that you attend the regular check-up appointments. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
Dental Implants Postoperative care
The following information provides some useful tips to help aid the healing process of teeth implants.
- Eating: Avoid any excessive pressure onto the implant area. This is very important. You should only eat soft nutritious food for two weeks. Avoid hard sticky foods. Maintain a soft, high protein diet.
- Avoid pushing your tongue near the dental implant area for at least 2 - 4 weeks.
- Medication: Take antibiotics and pain relieving pills as prescribed. Finish the course of antibiotics. If you have a reaction to the medication, please telephone the practice. Only take painkillers when needed.
- Hygiene: Avoid brushing the dental implant area. Rinse with Corsodyl Mouthwash twice a day. This keeps the teeth implant area clean and undisturbed.
- Exercise: Avoid physical exertion (i.e. sports, heavy lifting etc). This can cause bleeding around the dental implant.
- Alcohol: Avoid alcohol for 2 weeks as this can affect the healing of the tissues around the dental implant.
- Smoking: Avoid smoking for 3 days before treatment and 2 weeks after as this will also slow down the healing process around the implant.
- Food & Drink: Avoid very hot drinks and spicy/acidic foods. Do not eat hard crusty foods as this can cause more pressure on the implant site.
- Ice packs: A cold icepack should be applied externally over the teeth implant treated area as much as possible for the first three days. This helps reduce swelling.
- Denture Wear: If you wear a denture, this will be relieved so that no pressure is applied to the dental implant(s).
- Note: It is very important that you maintain your oral hygiene and home care at a high standard to ensure no plaque builds up around the gums, and that you attend the regular check-up appointments. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
Instructions Following the Extraction (Removal) of a Tooth
- The anaesthetic typically leaves your lips, teeth and tongue feeling numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
- Some discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol (not aspirin), is usually sufficient. We can also give you a prescription for a stronger pain reliever, if needed.
- To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.
- You can decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack – 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off – for the first six hours following the extraction.
- A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers and do not spit out vigorously. Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing.
- Do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours.
- Smoking, or allowing food particles to pack into the tooth’s socket, should be avoided, as both will significantly affect the healing process.
- 24 hours following the procedure, you should rinse gently with a warm salt water solution (dissolve one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water); gently swish the solution around the affected area, and spit carefully. You should do this 2-3 times each day for the week following the extraction.
- If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
- Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following surgery.
- Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat, as nourishment is important to the healing process. Limit your diet to soft foods like yoghurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first 48 hours.
- Drink at least eight large glasses of water each day.
- Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. We will give you “bite packs” in case you get bleeding later. Please bite gently but firmly for 20 minutes until the bleeding stops. Be sure to call our practice if bleeding persists or increases.
- Be sure to brush and floss the other areas of your mouth as you would normally.
- The space left by the tooth will feel a bit strange to you at first. Eventually, new bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap left by the extraction.
It is important to consider replacing missing teeth to avoid adjacent teeth (if present) moving and impairing chewing function. We will advise you about suitable treatment options. Teeth can replaced by Dental implants, Dental Bridges or Cosmetic Dentures.
Dry Socket Dry socket is an infection in your tooth socket after a tooth is extracted. The condition usually develops when a blood clot fails to form in the socket, or if the blood clot comes loose. Dry socket occurs in approximately five percent of all tooth extractions.
You may not have symptoms until three to five days after the extraction. Then, the condition will manifest itself as severe pain that doesn’t subside, often accompanied by what feels like an earache. You may also have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and bad breath.
Call our practice right away if you notice any symptoms of dry socket.
A guide of aftercare after dental crown or bridge preparation.
A temporary dental crown or bridge is placed to protect your teeth and gum tissues while a custom restoration is being created for you in a dental laboratory.This temporary crown or bridge will help prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting, ensuring that your final custom-crafted crown or bridge will fit.
Although the temporary dental crown or bridge should be very comfortable, you may need to alter your eating and oral hygiene habits slightly to ensure the temporary stays in place between appointments.
- Avoid chewing gum and eating sticky or hard foods. This may loosen the temporary crown or bridge.
- If possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
- Brush and floss carefully each day, pulling the floss out from the side as you floss next to the temporary. Pulling out from the top can cause the temporary crown to come loose. On certain instances, you will be asked not to floss.
It’s vital that your temporary crown or bridge stays in place. If your temporary does come off, do not try to replace it yourself. Call us immediately so we can arrange to cement it back into place.
You should also call us right away if:
- Your bite feels uneven.
- You have persistent pain. (Note: You may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold – this is normal).
Instructions for Aftercare Following a Root Canal
When a local anaesthetic is used to thoroughly numb the area being treated. This numbness in your lips, teeth or tongue might last for several hours after the procedure. You should avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
Caring for your temporary filling A temporary filling is normally placed to protect your tooth. It is common for a small portion of a temporary filling to wear away or break off. This usually is not a problem. However, you should take these precautions to ensure that your temporary filling stays securely in place:
- Avoid chewing gum and eating sticky or hard foods.
- If possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth.
- Continue to brush normally.
- Floss carefully each day, pulling the floss out from the side as you floss next to the temporary – lifting the floss out from the top can cause the temporary to come loose. We may advise you not to floss in some cases.
What if my tooth hurts? For the first few days after your root canal therapy, you may have some discomfort or sensitivity in the tooth that was treated, particularly if there was pain and infection prior to the treatment. If antibiotics have been prescribed for the infection, it is important that you take them for the full length of time indicated on the prescription, even if all signs of infection are gone. To control discomfort, we recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever (e.g. ibuprofen) following label directions.
Please be sure to call our Practice if: Your bite feels uneven, you have persistent pain, or you have any questions or concerns.
Note: It is important to complete the treatment for the tooth as soon as possible. The long term success depends on a good filling and/or crown to seal up the top of the tooth so that bacteria cannot get back into the roots.