Dental Procedures & What You Should Expect
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy often takes two or more appointments to complete depending on the severity of infection. At the start of treatment your dentist may isolate the tooth with a rubber dam to prevent salivary contamination of the canal system and protect you from the irritants used during the procedure. The small canals inside of your tooth roots are cleaned with tiny files that resemble "pipe cleaners". When the root canals are all cleaned, we placed a sealing material into the tooth roots. Although your tooth no longer has any living tissue inside of it, the sealed root canal allows you to keep your tooth for years to come. A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments. 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. If the tooth was asymptomatic to start with there are usually no flare –ups between appointments. But if you came in with a severe toothache or a swelling it will take time to heal.
Between appointments it is possible for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. You may even have a bad taste in your mouth. This generally is caused by the medication that was used during the root canal procedure leaking out past the temporary filling. If the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call us so that it can be replaced.
It’s not uncommon to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing. To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. To further reduce pain and swelling rinse three times a day with warm salt water.
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them as prescribed, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Since the tooth is very fragile following treatment avoid eating sticky and hard foods. Avoid chewing on that side until the permanent crown is placed. The permanent crown will protect the tooth from breaking in future.
Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and Bridges are usually completed in two appointments. Following anesthesia the teeth are prepared for a permanent bridge/crown and an impression is taken. This impression is very important. Your dentist may have to take more than one impression. It dictates the precision of your permanent bridge or crown. Then a temporary bridge/ crown are placed on the teeth for protection. The size, shape, and color of the temporary do not resemble the final restoration. A temporary bridge/crown is easily removed; therefore care must be taken not to dislodge it before your permanent bridge/crown is placed. Do not chew sticky foods such as caramel or chewing gum. When flossing, pull the floss out the side; do not pop it through the contact with the tooth next to it. You will not be able to floss between the teeth of your temporary bridge. If your temporary bridge /crown comes off, you can place some Fixodent (available at any pharmacy) inside it and put it back on, then call our office during normal business hours and we will re-cement it Do not leave your temporary off, even if you have no discomfort. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment. Without a temporary bridge to hold your teeth in place, your teeth can move causing your new bridge not to fit. If that occurs, you would have to purchase another bridge.
Your gums may be sore. Warm salt water rinses will speed healing. You may have sensitivity to hot or cold. This is common and normal since the temporary is not an accurate fit of the prepared teeth.If you feel like you are biting first or harder on your temporary or permanent bridge, call us for an adjustment or you will develop a sore tooth.
Be sure to brush and floss your new bridge. With a bridge, you will need special floss threaded or other aids to reach and clean all areas properly.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office. Your comfort is our priority!
Following your filling appointment if an anesthetic has been used, your lips, tongue and cheek may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid 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 common to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Over the counter Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Tylenol (one tablet every 4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. Once the numbness is completely worn off, if you feel that the filled teeth come in contact prior to the rest of the teeth contact our office for an adjustment.
You may chew with your composite (tooth colored) fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office. If you chose the silver fillings do not eat on that side for the next eight hours since silver fillings take longer to achieve their complete set strength.
Deep Cleaning Treatments
If you require more than just a regular cleaning your Dentist /Hygienist may prescribe a deep cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing).It is usually done in sections. One half of the mouth is cleaned in one session & you will have to come back for the other half. First the teeth & the gums are anaesthetized then the teeth are cleaned using a combination of ultrasonic & hand instruments. It is normal to experience cold & hot sensitivity after the appointment. Your teeth may even be sensitive to chewing. Your gums will be sore and may bleed.
Sometimes your Dentist /Hygienist may advise the placement of an antibiotic ( arestin , perio-chip) in the pocket if it greater than 4mm. In that case, patients should postpone brushing for 12 hours and avoid the use of interproximal cleaning devices(flossing) for 10 days. Also patients should avoid eating hard, crunchy or sticky foods for 1 week.
After the completion of treatment it is important to follow good home care which includes regular brushing, flossing, using a mouth rinse (prescription or over the counter). Your Dentist / Hygienist may put you on a 3 -4 month follow up care. Failure to comply with it will return your gum condition back to square one. Regular follow up care will create an environment for the gums and bone to heal and will prevent further destruction. Gum disease is a silent disease and the importance of follow up care cannot be overemphasized.
Invisalign - INVISIBLE Braces
So , How does Invisalign Treatment Work? Your Invisalign® clear aligners are custom-made for you. The aligners are virtually invisible and fit snugly over your teeth.Each aligner shifts your teeth slightly, moving them horizontally and vertically and even rotating them when needed. Your aligners are engineered to use the right amount of force in the right place at the right time. When you change to the next set of aligners (typically every week) your teeth gradually move into position, following a custom treatment plan mapped out by your doctor. Only Invisalign clear aligners are made of proprietary, multilayer SmartTrack® material to gently shift your teeth into place.