This section aims to answer any questions or concerns you may have about treatment recently completed at Creekside. Feel free to call the office to contact your dentist or hygienist if your concerns are not addressed here. We are here to help you!
After cleanings – If it has been a while since your last cleaning, you may experience some tenderness or sensitivity in the gums following your appointment. Salt water rinses (1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 cup of warm water) can be soothing. In addition, an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil), can ease aching while also expediting healing. Your hygienist may also offer advice specific to your condition.
After fillings – White fillings, or composites, are fully hardened at the time of your appointment and can be eaten on immediately. Silver fillings, or amalgams, are 90% set after one hour, but take 24 hours to harden completely. We caution patients to not eat or drink for one hour after the procedure, and to chew on the opposite side for the remainder of the day to prevent fracture of the new filling as it sets. Also be careful not to bite your tongue, cheek or lip while frozen!
At Creekside, we generally use a desensitizing compound under each of our fillings to minimize discomfort to our patients. That said, some sensitivity to cold, hot, or biting, which is short and sharp in nature, may be experienced. Everyone heals differently, so the duration will vary, but in a healthy tooth, the sensitivity should be minimal. Conversely, if the pain increases, becomes more frequent or becomes constant and throbbing, this may indicate a further problem with the nerve of the tooth, and you should alert your dentist.
After extractions – As you leave the office, you will be instructed to bite on a piece of sterile gauze for 30 minutes to keep pressure on the site to minimize bleeding. An additional package of sterile gauze is provided for your convenience. Once you can feel the freezing start to leave the healing site, an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil), is recommended. Depending on the difficulty level or your extraction, additional medications may be suggested or prescribed by your dentist. If an antibiotic is prescribed, it is critical that instructions are followed to complete the entire course of the medication in order to ensure all bacteria are eliminated to prevent “super infections.”
Maintain a soft food diet with plenty of liquids. Try to avoid eating on the area, and do not touch the area with your fingers or tongue. For the first 24 hours, do not rinse, spit, gargle or use a straw, as these actions create suction or pressure on the area, which can result in resumed bleeding. After the first day, you may do a salt water rinse (1 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup of warm water) twice a day for 2-3 days to gently flush the area.
The majority of discomfort should resolve within the initial 48 hours; if pain continues, or dissipates but then returns about 5 days after the extraction, contact our office. This may indicate an infection or a “dry socket,” both of which require treatment for resolution.
After dentures – If you have replaced existing dentures, with no additional teeth removed, you may notice some changes in fit, and even some minor changes in phonetics, with your new dentures. In addition, sore spots usually arise as your mouth adjusts to the new fit, until the gums have a chance to “break them in.” During this adjustment period, be sure to start off with softer foods and take the denture out periodically to give your gums a break.
Gradually increase the duration of wear and the toughness of foods that you are chewing to not put unnecessary strain on your gums. After the initial 24 hours, it is recommended that you see us to check for sore spots and make adjustments as needed to alleviate the pressure points. We are happy to see you to adjust your dentures – at no extra charge! Dentures should be cleaned daily with a hard brush and removed from the mouth and left to soak in water overnight. This is important for gum health and for preserving the ridge of bone that helps your denture stay firmly in place.
If you are having teeth taken out at the time of receiving a new denture, it is important that you wear the new denture for a full 24 hours after the extractions, even while sleeping. The inside of the new denture acts as a mould for the healing gums – the more it is worn in this initial phase, the better the final fit of the denture. After this 24 hour period, we will see you in the office to make adjustments to the bite and pressure points. Then a normal routine of denture wear can be instated, with the denture worn by day but removed at night. Additional appointments for adjustment of sore spots are complimentary – please contact our office.
After crowns, bridges & veneers – Much like a new filling, a vital (non-root canalled) tooth may experience sensitivity to hot, cold or chewing after crown placement. Again, this normally resolves over the course of a few weeks. Contact your dentist if pain persists or increases.
After implants – Implant treatment involves two phases, the surgical phase in which the titanium implant is placed in the bone, and the restorative phase in which a crown, bridge or denture is placed on the implant. Please have a thorough discussion with the surgeon regarding your specific case and the side effects of the implant insertion – the instructions will vary depending if there is bone grafting involved, sinus lift, or other adjunctive procedures.
After root canals – Often, root canals are needed because of pain or abscess, so root canal therapy often provides more relief than problems! However, in some cases, the pain that was being experienced will not be immediately alleviated on treatment. While ibuprofen (Advil), may be sufficient for this discomfort, your dentist may prescribe additional pain medication or antibiotic as needed.
Because abscesses also affect bone, which has a longer healing time, it may be up to 6 months before a root canal treated tooth feels “normal”. In addition, if the tooth was treated due to a crack in the crown of the tooth, treatment may not be successful if the crack extends down into the root of the tooth. Unfortunately, as cracks do not show themselves on x-rays, it may not be until after the root canal is completed that this problem is identified, which would necessitate extraction of the tooth.
After treatment in children – Kids are amazingly resilient, and often perceive dental work as “fun!” The nerves in a child’s tooth very seldom experience pain. What normally causes problems after treatment in kids is the “sleeping potion,” or freezing! Kids tend to want to explore the numbness in their cheek, tongue or lip, and may bite these areas. This can be quite uncomfortable once the freezing wears off. Please watch your child carefully after his or her procedure and discourage such behaviour.