After your teeth have been restored with tooth-colored materials, your restorations should function beautifully for many years. The composite resin (plastic) material contains small “filler” particles of glass-like material which add strength and wear resistance. They are composed of the finest and most up-to-date materials currently available.

Please be aware of the following information regarding your new restorations:

  • Avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the filled teeth (hard candy, ice, nuts, etc.) since composite resin material can break under extreme pressure.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold for a few weeks following a dental restoration is quite common. Generally, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth may be. If you feel the bite is not correct, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
  • The anesthetic injection site along with some irritation of the gum tissue during the procedure may result in some soreness for a few days.
  • Your finished restoration may have a different texture than your original tooth and may be contoured somewhat differently. The tongue tends to magnify these small differences, but you will become completely accustomed to them within a few days.
  • Composite fillings harden immediately and require no waiting time to eat. IMPORTANT: Children should be observed and should not eat until all anesthetic has worn off. Due to remaining numbness and/or mild swelling, children can accidentally chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue, possibly resulting in serious damage to those tissues.

Crowns, Veneers, Bridges

Temporary Crowns, veneers, bridges

  • Temporary crowns aren’t strong. They can break or may occasionally come off. If this should happen you can use the temporary cement supplied. Read instructions on the back of the package. Slip the temporary back on the tooth, holding it in place. You can call the office for a staff member to reattach if you are not comfortable. DO NOT leave the temporary out of your mouth — your teeth will shift and your final restoration (permanent crown) will not fit. Always floss according to the instructions we have given you.
  • Temporary restorations can leak saliva or food onto the tooth. You may experience sensitivity to hot, cold, pressure, or sweets. If you experience unusual discomfort or feel the bite is not correct, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
  • Your temporary’s size, shape, and color do not resemble those of your final restoration.

Permanent Crowns, veneers, bridges

  • Do not chew hard or sticky foods on your restoration for 24 hours from the time it was cemented. The cement must harden during this time to provide optimum strength.
  • It may take a few days to get used to your new crown or bridge after the final cementation. Hot and cold sensitivity may occur for a few weeks and occasionally may last for several months. As with the temporary, if the bite does not feel comfortable, please call and make an appointment so that we may adjust it.
  • Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month cleanings are necessary to maintain your final restoration. The one area where a crowned tooth can decay is at the bottom edge of the crown at the gum line. Small problems that develop around restorations can usually be found at an early stage and easily corrected, but postponing proper care can result in the need to replace the entire restoration.

Important Information About Crowns
Gold and porcelain crowns are equivalent in almost all respects, except that porcelain may chip. Statistics show that approximately 1 out of 100 porcelain crowns chip and require replacement. Gold crowns do not ever chip. When choosing between a porcelain or gold crown, this should be part of your consideration.

Dentures & Partials

Sore Spots: After wearing your denture/partial for 24 hours, your mouth will usually have some “sore spots.” We can help to relieve these areas very easily at your next appointment.

  • Chewing: For a number of weeks, your new bite may not feel completely comfortable. Once your denture/partial has settled into place, we can adjust the contact surfaces of your teeth.
  • Cleaning your Dentures/Partial: Clean your denture/partial easily using a denture brush or toothbrush with mild toothpaste. It is also helpful to use a periodic denture soak, such as with Polident. We recommend leaving partials out of the mouth at night, soaking in water.

Dentures only: Using a regular toothbrush, brush your gums once a day to toughen and clean them.

Partials only: Be especially careful to clean parts of your partial that contact any natural teeth. Both your partial and your natural teeth must be kept very clean every day to reduce the opportunity for new dental decay to flare up.

We take pride in providing you with well-fitted, functional, and esthetic dentures/partials. After a few weeks of adjustment, we are sure that you will enjoy years of satisfaction from them. Over time, when teeth are missing, the jawbone and gums shrink. Your dentures/partials will feel loose if this takes place and will probably need to be relined. Severe bone loss and serious oral disease can occur as a result of wearing ill-fitting dentures/partials for too long without refitting. Please call our office if you experience these symptoms so that we may maintain your denture or partial and your good oral health.

Night Guards

Splint (night guard) therapy is used to encourage your lower jaw to function more properly. Therefore, we have fabricated a night guard, an orthopedic appliance, to help reposition your lower jaw. Your night guard will help to relax jaw muscles which are in spasm and reduce muscle pain. Accidental trauma, naturally occurring malocclusion (poor bite), clenching or bruxing (grinding) of the teeth, psychological stress, developmental defects, and atypical oral habits are just some of the many reasons the lower jaw may malfunction.

  • Your night guard (also known as a bite splint or occlusal splint) is made of acrylic. It is designed to keep your teeth from coming in contact while you sleep. This allows the lower jaw to return to a comfortable hinge position without interference from your bite. In order to enjoy its benefits, you must wear your night guard every night. If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, you may wear it then also. When you are not using your appliance, always keep it in water to prevent warping. This simple treatment has many years of proven success.
  • Cleaning: If you are using your night guard during the day, or eating at night before you go to bed, food can accumulate underneath it. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly, then brush and rinse the inside and outside of the night guard before returning it to your mouth. Clean your night guard the same way before placing it in water when you are not wearing it. Dental plaque will find a haven, stimulating dental decay, if you do not take care regarding the cleanliness of your mouth and night guard. If you suffer a high rate of dental decay, fluoride-containing rinses or gels can be placed in your appliance once per day. Using a dental soak cleanser such as Polident® on a monthly basis can also help to keep your night guard fresh.

Root Canals

Endodontic (root canal) treatment can take 1 to 3 appointments depending on the case. After any of these appointments, you may experience: Sensitivity to hot and/or cold; sensitivity to pressure; possible swelling. Please call our office immediately if you experience swelling, since you may require additional medication.

  • During root canal therapy, the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This causes the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracturing which can result in the need to extract the tooth. We recommend a full coverage crown to prevent risk of fracture.
  • The anesthetic injection site along with some irritation of the gum tissue during the procedure may result in some soreness for a few days.
  • A temporary filling may be placed, if needed, to seal the tooth between visits prior to placement of your permanent crown.
  • Your tooth may feel high, or too tall, when you bite your teeth together. If so, it will remain sensitive for a longer period of time. Please call if you experience this sensation and we will correct it with a simple bite adjustment.
  • Chew softly on the tooth while eating until your final restoration is placed.
  • Root canal therapy is a treatment, not a cure. Its success rate is high. If you require root canal therapy, we will do everything we can to obtain a successful result and we’ll gladly discuss the entire procedure with you and answer any questions you may have so that you feel confident about your decision to pursue this therapy.

Surgical Extractions

Medications: Please carefully follow directions for medication. If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, it is important to take all of it. (Woman only): If on birth control pills, it is IMPORTANT To UNDERSTAND THAT ANTIBIOTICS have been reported to decrease oral contraceptive effectiveness, resulting in a change of unplanned pregnancy. If antibiotics are prescribed, other contraceptive methods are recommended if pregnancy must be avoided.

  • Pain Control: 800 mg Ibuprofen (equivalent to 4 Advil or Motrin) taken every 6-8 hours for 2-3 days is usually sufficient for post-extraction discomfort. If you need to take narcotic pain relievers, please do not drive or operate machinery.
  • Prevent “DRY SOCKET”: It is important to avoid excessive swishing, rinsing, sucking and spitting for the next 2-3 days. Such actions may dislodge the blood clot that needs to form to speed healing in the extraction socket.
  • Bleeding: There will be a minimum amount of oozing of blood during the next 24 hours. If you believe the bleeding to be more than oozing rinse gently with ice water and apply pressure with moist gauze over the area for 20 minutes. If this does not control the bleeding, call Dr Barnes.
  • Oral Hygiene: It is important to continue with good oral hygiene. Be careful not to disturb the extraction site while brushing and avoid excessive swishing, sucking, or spitting for the first 3 days.
  • Swelling: A slight amount of swelling is normal and can be minimized with the application of ice pack for the first two hours following surgery. Apply ice pack alternately, (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off) for no longer than 2 hours. Swelling will reach its peak within three days and then begin to subside. Should you feel the swelling is excessive or you begin to have a fever, call Dr Barnes.
  • Diet: You should eat a well balanced diet, consisting primarily of soft and semi-soft foods. Avoid hard crunchy foods (potato chips, popcorn) that may become lodged in the tissue. Hot spicy foods may be uncomfortable for the first few days following surgery.
  • Smoking: Smoking is extremely detrimental to healing oral tissue. Avoid smoking as much as possible for 48 hours.
  • General: The post- surgical period should be uneventful and relativity comfortable. Do not exert yourself for the first few days and follow the instructions above and you should find that any post surgical problems will most likely be minimal.

Emergencies: Should you have any concerns, or problems, please do not hesitate to call Dr Barnes.
Office: 704-849-6700
Home: 704-674-1392