Crowns & Bridges

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. On the first appointment the teeth are prepared. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.

On rare occasions temporary crowns or bridges come off. Call us if this happens, and keep the temporary so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the proper fit of your final restoration that temporaries stay in place.

It’s normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. Your gums may be sore for several days. Rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a tsp. of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit) to reduce pain and swelling. Use medication as directed.

To help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (especially gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. It’s important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully and remove the floss from the side to prevent removal of the temporary crown.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us right away!

Deep Cleaning

To minimize discomfort and encourage proper healing following your scaling and root planing, follow these instructions:

  • Be careful when eating or avoid eating all-together until the dental anesthetic has worn off completely.
  • Avoid strong spicy seasonings and crunchy foods such as chips, popcorn, and seeds for the next few days.
  • Refrain from smoking – success of the treatment will be substantially reduced.
  • Take a non-aspirin pain reliever every four hours for the next two days for any tenderness or discomfort. It’s ideal to take ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol following your deep cleaning, however, do not take these medications if you have an allergy to them or have a medical condition that prohibits use of these medications.
  • To help soothe your gums, rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day with warm salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon salt + 8 ounces of warm water).
  • If you were prescribed Peridex/Chlorhexidine, use as directed.
  • It is normal to experience cold sensitivity following your treatment. If needed, use a desensitizing toothpaste (such as Sensodyne) or a fluoride gel (such as Prevident or Gel-Kam) in place of your regular toothpaste. Avoid toothpastes with “whitening,” “tarter control,” or baking soda agents – these toothpastes tend to increase sensitivity.
  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush at least two times a day right away. After the first 24 hours, start flossing every night. Be gentle and clean thoroughly. Slight bleeding may occur while brushing or flossing as your gums begin to heal.
  • Faithfully use any other oral hygiene aids that have been recommended (Perio-Aid, rubber tip, Sonicare toothbrush, Proxabrush, Waterpik, etc).
  • We strongly recommend not missing your one-month re-evaluation appointment following completion of your scaling and root planing. Your re-evaluation is free of charge and is a critical step in determining the success of your treatment. We will answer questions and discuss in further detail your next steps in controlling your gum disease.


When to call us

It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a tooth extraction, but call us right away if you have:

  • Heavy or increased bleeding
  • Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days
  • If swelling worsens and makes it difficult to breathe or swallow, go to the emergency room immediately
  • Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days
When the numbness has worn off
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side.
  • Don’t spit, and don’t suck on candies or through a straw.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth, and don’t brush or floss next to the site.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Avoid tobacco for at least 72 hours because it slows healing.
  • Limit yourself to calm activities.
  • Elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
  • Don’t drink hot, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks, and avoid hot or spicy foods.
To keep swelling to a minimum

Use an ice pack over the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

To control discomfort

Take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended. If you had sutures placed, they are dissolvable & usually dissolve within 2 weeks of the extraction.

During The First 24 Hours

It is important that a blood clot form in the extraction site to stop bleeding, reduce pain, and speed healing.

To protect the clot and avoid pain of dry socket, bite on a gauze pad firmly for 30-60 minutes. Blood and saliva mix in the mouth and make it look like there is more bleeding than there really is. Some oozing is normal; however, after 1 hour, repeat with clean gauze pad if oozing is profuse. The site could ooze for as long as 24 hours.

Composite Fillings

We have restored some of your teeth with a tooth-colored material. The resin (plastic) material used contains small filler particles of glass-like material for strength and wear resistance. These restorations will serve you well for several years. They contain the finest and most up-to-date materials available today. However, you should be aware of the following information about your new restorations.

  • As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the filled teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because the resin material can break under extreme forces.
  • Composite fillings set up hard right away. There is no waiting time to eat.
  • Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue which can cause serious damage.
  • The gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.
  • The finished restoration may be shaped slightly different and have a different texture then the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days.

Regular Dental Care

Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6 month (minimal) cleanings are essential to the long-term stability and appearance of your restorations. Often, problems that may develop with the fillings can be found at an early stage and repaired easily, while waiting for a longer time may require more extensive treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Willow Lake Dental at (651) 294-9500.