Post-Op Instructions

Post-Operative Instructions for Dental Bridges

When you receive a dental bridge, you are making an investment in your mouth. Please take the following steps to ensure that your dental bridge will last you for years to come.

Brush twice a day for at least two minutes.

It is possible to get a cavity under your bridge abutments (the anchor teeth crowned on either side of your missing tooth space). Pay special attention to your gumline. Plaque and bacteria at your gumline will lead to decay that can cause your dental bridge to fail.

A mechanical or ultrasonic brush, such as Sonicare®, will help you to adequately remove plaque and bacteria. In addition, most electric brushes have a timer that assists you in brushing for a full two minutes.

Pay special attention to the area where the anchor crowns meet your natural tooth and gums along the tongue side and cheek side. This area can trap bacteria and plaque which can lead to a new cavity under your dental bridge crowns.

Floss all of your teeth, including your dental bridge, at least once a day.

Make sure that you insert your floss in between each tooth. You should hear a “pop.”

Wrap the floss around each tooth and move it up and down to loosen and remove food and bacteria.
Use a new section of floss for each tooth. Use a floss threader or Super Floss to floss under the pontic (the crown in the open space where your tooth once was).

Floss fingers and other appliances available at the grocery store can help you reach your back teeth easily. Waterpik® and Sonicare Air Floss devices are useful to help keep the bottom area of the open space between your teeth clean. You must still floss the contact where your dental bridge and adjacent teeth meet (the “pop” area described above).

Dental Visits
You should visit our office at least twice a year, or more often if directed, for professional dental cleanings.

Post-Operative Instructions for Temporary Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges

Please follow these instructions while you are awaiting your permanent crown or bridge. Do not hesitate to call the office should you have any questions about your temporary.

    1. Avoid eating sticky foods, such as caramel, chewing gum or hard candy, on the side of the mouth with a temporary crown.

    2. Do not floss the area around your temporary crown. Should you find it necessary to do so, pop your floss in between your teeth and then pull it out on the side. Do not pop the floss back out as it can cause you to lose or damage of your temporary crown.

    3. Your temporary plays an important role in protecting your tooth and holding the space for your permanent crown or bridge. Should it need recementing or become damaged, please call our office during business hours and we will be happy to recement or repair it.

    4. Should your temporary become uncemented on the weekend or while you are out of town, purchase temporary dental cement from a drugstore. Remove any cement left in the temporary and replace it with a “teardrop” amount of cement. Do not leave any cement on your gums.

    5. It is normal to have significant changes in response to temperature and soreness at the injection site after dental restorations. This should subside within a few days, or in some cases, weeks. If your pain gets progressively worse or is causing more than mild discomfort, please call this office.

    6. Ibuprofen (Advil® or MOTRIN®) is very effective for dental pain. Two to four tablets may be taken four times a day for the next three to four days (if needed) to help control the sensitivity in this area.

    7. Should the gums around your temporary crown become sensitive, rinse four times a day with a warm saltwater solution (½ teaspoon salt to ½ cup water).

Post-Extraction Instructions

Moderate discomfort and swelling occurs with most oral surgery procedures. The symptoms begin within the first 12 hours following the surgery and start to decrease after 48 hours. The amount of discomfort and swelling is unpredictable. It is important to take care of your surgery site, so please follow these instructions.

    1. Pressure should be placed on the gauze pad that has been placed on the extraction site for one hour. If the bleeding continues, new gauze should be placed and pressed on for another 45 minutes.

    2. For at least 24 hours, DO NOT

    • Smoke
    • Drink through a straw
    • Drink alcohol, carbonated liquids or hot liquids
    • Blow your nose
    • Spit (let the extra saliva flow into a cup)

    Any of these may cause the blood to clot and dislodge from the socket, causing “dry socket” and unnecessary pain.

    3. During the first 2-3 days after the surgery, a diet of soft food and liquids is recommended. This includes soup, yogurt, milkshakes or juice.

    4. You may experience some pain, bruising around your lips or swelling, especially after extraction of impacted wisdom teeth. Ice bag application and medication prescribed for you will help to minimize your discomfort.

    5. Please take all medications you have received based on the instructions given to you. If your discomfort or bleeding continues or worsens, call our office for a reexamination at 708-482-0300 or you can text/call Angela at (708) 845-6669

    6. Tomorrow morning, start rinsing gently with warm saltwater (¼ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water) every four hours for the next two to three days. Proper oral hygiene must be performed to insure the proper healing environment.

If you have any remaining questions about post-operative care in Countryside, Illinois, feel free to call our office at 708-482-0300 to speak with a member of our team or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Blaine Cusack.