Treatment Q and A
Tooth colored Restorations (Composites)
We have placed tooth-colored restorations in your teeth. The resin material used is a plastic with small “filler” particles of glass-like material-the finest and most to date materials available today. These restorations will serve you well for several years. However, you should be aware of the following:
Chewing: As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the restored teeth (hard candy, ice, bones, etc.) because extreme force can cause the resin material to be broken from the tooth – just as it can in a natural tooth. However, in the event that a breakage occurs, replacement of a restoration is not difficult.
Continuing care: Visit us at regular six-month examination periods. Often problems that are developing around the restoration can be detected at an early stage and repaired easily. Waiting a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration. Preventive Procedure: To provide optimum longevity for your restorations and to prevent future dental decay and supporting tissue breakdown, please brush and floss after eating and before bedtime. We do recommend you swish vigorously with a fluoride mouthwash for at least 30 seconds daily.
Please call us if notice any change in your tooth-colored restorations, or if you have any questions at all about them.
Your New Denture:
Your first few weeks: New dentures always feel strange at first. On average, a week for every ten years of your life are required for you to feel like they are a part of you.
Using your dentures: Don’t overwork your dentures in the beginning. You wouldn’t try to run a mile with a new wooden leg. Eat soft diet and cut your food really small at first. Put food on your back teeth on both sides and chew straight up and down. Take it easy and gradually progress to harder and tougher foods.
Sore spots: We will be seeing you usually the next day, three days after, and a week after delivering your dentures. Usually we can prevent sore spots before they happen. The process to make your denture in our office is very precise so many patients don’t even have any sore spots. However, your mouth and bone condition may vary and you may most likely have some sore spots while you’re getting used to your new dentures. This is normal and expected. You need to let us know that you have sore spots and we will take care of them for you. Do, however, wear them long enough so we can see the sore spot. This helps greatly to know where to relieve the denture. Of course, there is no charge for this.
Chewing: The bite will not feel comfortable for a few days. It is very likely some fine tuning of the bite will be necessary-Usually after about a week of settling in. There is no charge for this either.
Cleaning the dentures and your mouth: Your dentures can be cleaned easily by using a denture brush or a soft bristled toothbrush and regular toothpaste. Denture soaks, such as Efferdent, are also useful. The denture soak that we recommend is called Stain-Away Plus. You can usually get it at Bartell’s or Long’s. Brush your gums with a soft bristled toothbrush at least once a day. It is recommended that you leave the dentures out of your mouth at night so your gum will have time to rest. Please place your dentures in a solution so they won’t dry out and affect the comfort.
The future: Your jawbones and gums shrink year by year. This is one of the disadvantages of wearing dentures – they get looser and looser as time goes by. Because of this, you should have your dentures and tissues evaluated by us once a year. Wearing ill-fitting dentures for too long a period before refitting them to your gums and bone can cause some very serious soft tissue disease. Denture adhesives may be helpful for a while but should not be relied on for too long a time. Avoid using the thick denture liners such as Sea-bond that can cause yeast infection in your gums and cause your bone to deteriorate very rapidly.
Removal of Spots On Your Teeth
There are many reasons for white, brown, gray, or orange spots that appear on tooth surfaces. In some cases, heredity is the cause. Cigarettes, coffee and tea also can cause superficial spots. Tetracycline has shown to cause stains that range in color from yellow to orange to brown to blue – gray. Regardless of their origin, these spots are objectionable (unsightly), and may be removed in one or more of the following ways.
Microabrasion: For removal of a small amount of the discolored tooth structure an abrasive solution is the most conservative method used. This method, microabrasion, which is painless, is usually very fast, relatively inexpensive and produces a permanent result. We will advise you if this procedure is appropriate for the superficial spots on your teeth.
Restorations: Spots or discolorations that go deeper may be eliminated through small tooth colored restorations. Veneer/Bonding: If there are multiple or very deep discolorations, thin custom- made pieces of plastic or porcelain called veneers can be bonded to the surfaces of the teeth to cover the spots. Veneers provide an excellent appearance and have a longevity of several years.
We recommend beginning with conservative microabrasion if possible. If this is successful, additional treatment is not necessary. When the spots are too deep, small restorations may be needed. If the spots or discolorations are very deep, veneers will then be recommended. Note: Smoking, coffee, and tea stains are usually superficial and will be removed by the hygienist at your routine cleaning.
Crown and Bridge
You have just had a crown or fixed bridge cemented onto your teeth. It will replace your missing tooth structure or missing teeth and give you years of good service – provided you observe the following conditions:
Chewing: You should not chew hard foods on the restorations for 24 hours from the time they were cemented – to obtain optimum strength the cement must mature for approximately 24 hours. After that there are no real restrictions, meaning that you can bite and chew any foods that you would normally do with your original teeth.
Sensitivity: You should not worry about mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods. This sensitivity will disappear gradually over next few weeks. When a tooth has been subjected to decay, fillings, more decay, more fillings or breakage, necessitating a crown, there is a certain chance that it will die. If pain persists or continues to get worse notify me for an evaluation. The tooth may be a candidate for root canal therapy.. Preventive Procedures: To provide optimum longevity for your restorations and to prevent future dental decay and supporting tissue breakdown (gum disease), please thoroughly brush and floss after eating and before bedtime.
Recalls: The most significant reason for failure is infrequent return for continuing care examination and cleaning. Visit us at regular six-month intervals for optimum dental health. If problems are developing around the restoration they can be found at an early stage and corrected. Waiting for a longer time may require the entire restoration to be replaced..
Call us immediately if one of these conditions occur:
- A feeling of movement or looseness in the restoration.
- Sensitivity to sweet foods.
- A peculiar taste from the restoration site.
- We have done our best to provide you with the finest quality restoration. Only your continuing care and concern can assure long – term dental health.
You have just received a temporary crown. This temporary crown is meant only to serve your needs while a permanent crown is being made for you. Temporary crowns are custom made for each patient. However, the color, shape and size of the temporary crown may not resemble the final (permanent) crown in any way.
Your temporary crown will help protect the sensitivity of the prepared tooth. However, it may not fit your mouth like the permanent crown will, so you may notice some sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets – sensations you won’t feel when your specially – made permanent crown is in place.
Here are some other things you need to know about your temporary crown:
- The temporary cement requires about 30 minutes (one half-hour) to set. Please do not chew during that period of time.
- Certain foods will stick to the temporary crown. Please refrain from chewing gum, candies or foods that stick to the crown.
- Temporary crowns are not very strong and they may occasionally break or come off. If this should happened to you, please contact our office immediately, bring your crown with you and we will replace it. Should you be unable to contact us, simply go to a pharmacy or grocery store and get some Fixodent or Polygrip denture adhesive. Replace the temporary crown on your tooth using the adhesive to hold it in place until you can contact us.
- Please do not leave the temporary crown out of your mouth. Without the temporary, your teeth may move and then the permanent crown may not fit!
- Do not brush or floss too vigorously around your temporary crown. Remember that it is important to keep the area clean – but use caution.
- It is imperative that you return to our office at the appointed time for your permanent crown. Failure to do so may result in a shifting of the tooth resulting in the need to re-prepare the tooth and re-make the crown.
Care following Oral Surgery
For thirty minutes following the surgical procedure, bite on the gauze that was placed. Any bleeding should stop by this time. If not then fold another piece of gauze and repeat. Steady firm pressure is the key to getting the bleeding to stop.
Do not use a commercial mouthwash during the healing period. If you must rinse, use warm water and be very gentle. After 36 hours you may gently rinse with 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water. Brush carefully around the area.
You will be rather sore for a while. If you have been prescribed medication take it exactly as directed. If you experience any adverse effects from the medication let the doctor know right away.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco use during the healing period. Do not use a straw and don’t spit excessively. It is important to not disturb the blood clot so that healing proceeds as rapidly as possible.
Do not bend over, do any heavy lifting, engage in sports or other activities that can raise your blood pressure. This could result in starting bleeding again.
There is one common complication you should know about- dry socket. This occurs when the blood clot comes out the socket allowing the bone to be exposed to saliva, food and bacteria. You will know this is likely happening because, after a few days of less and less discomfort, the pain will start increasing. If this is the case let us know and we will start dry socket treatment. There is no charge for this.
Now in many cases, instead of a injection to numb the tooth and drill to remove the decay, we can use an air and powder mix that shoots out of a very small nozzle. This quickly removes the decay and is painless in most cases. Even if there is some feeling it is usually tolerable and preferable to getting numb. Just think how nice it would be to get your fillings done and not have to have a shot and a numb lip for the next three hours. If preferred, anesthetic is always an option, of course.
For sure, the art and science of dentistry have changed, offering a no needle, no drill, no fear procedure for removing decay.
Since air abrasion is achieved by directing a thin stream of air and abrasive powder at the area of tooth decay, only a minimal amount of tooth is removed. Air abrasion allows for very small cavity preparations and is part of what is called microdentistry.
Microdentistry is the philosophy and practice of finding and treating decay as early as possible, of removing as little tooth structure as possible, of making the smallest possible fillings, of assuring that those fillings are the same color as the teeth, and are long lasting. So air abrasion is the part of the microdentistry procedure that removes the decay and prepares the tooth for the filling.
Some people have a fear dental care. But the gentle process of air abrasion and microdentistry takes the emphasis off pain and fear and moves it to conservative, healthy, natural appearing dentistry.
Crack Tooth Syndrome
Teeth may crack when subjected to the stress of chewing of chewing hard food or ice, or by biting on an unexpected hard object. Teeth with or without restorations may exhibit this problem, but teeth restored with typical procedures are most susceptible.
Symptoms and signs of Cracked Teeth:
- Pain while chewing.
- Pain upon cold air application
- Unsolicited pain (usually leakage of sugar into a tooth crack)
- Treatment of Cracked Tooth:
Simple Crack: The majority of cracked teeth-about 9 out of every 10-can be treated by placement of a simple crown on the tooth. When the tooth is prepared for the crown, and a temporary restoration is placed, the pain usually leaves immediately. If this is the case with your teeth, we will place the final crown on your next appointment, and the condition should be resolved.
Complex Crack: Occasionally – about 1 in 10 – a crack is pronounced or severe enough to access the pulp of the tooth. If pain persists after placement to the temporary crown. You may have such a crack into the pulp of the affected tooth. To verify, please call us. The tooth may require endodontics before the crown is placed.
Enjoy the smile and dental health you deserve! Contact SeaTac Family Dentistry or Port Orchard Dental Artistry today.