FAQ’s Procedure / Care



Silver Filings (Amalgam Restorations) – Your new silver filling remains soft for a short time after it is placed.  It is important to not chew on it for about 2 hours. These fillings have a life expectancy of 8 to 20 years and many have lasted for over 50 years. See also “Local Anesthesia” below.

Extractions – After an extraction it is important to keep your tongue and fingers away from the socket.  There should be no smoking, and no drinking through straws. (This is to prevent a dry socket – a very painful and stormy healing period.) No alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. No rinsing for 24 hours. After 24 hours you can begin rinsing with warm salt-water (a tall glass of warm water and a teaspoon of salt.) You may rinse up to 5 times a day and continue with rinsing until you can brush the extraction site during regular toothbrushing. A soft diet may be necessary for a few days. See also “Local Anesthesia” below.

Composite Fillings – These are tooth colored fillings, also called bonded restorations. We expect these fillings to last between 5 to 8 years. They are almost 100% set when you are leaving the office, so there are no restrictions on what you can or can not do.  (See “Local Anesthesia”)The bonding is very technique sensitive and if a bond failure occurs it can be immediate or as long as 1 year. You need to call us if there is any change in the way this filling feels.  It may need to be replaced. We do this at no charge for the first year and  a reduced fee after 12 months.

Temporary Crown and Temporary Bridge – these are designed to be easily removed, so they can come out early,before your next appointment. It is necessary to call the office and get it replaced as soon as possible. They help to maintain arch length and position of the prepared and the opposing tooth until the final restoration can be placed. Floss toward the gum-line and then pull it out sideways so as to not pull out the temporary.

Taking Care of Your New Bridge -The bridge is supported between adjacent teeth which interferes with regular flossing in that area.  You should receive floss threaders and a demonstration of using the floss threader and floss to clean under your bridge. The floss threader pulls the floss under the false tooth and allows you to clean the teeth on either side. This should be done at least once a day, preferably at bedtime.

Taking Care of Your New Denture – If your teeth were removed the same day as your denture went in, you should leave it in until your follow-up visit, 24 hours later. It acts as a band-aid to keep extraction site clean and helps to maintain the blood clot necessary for proper healing. After 24 hours we recommend taking the denture out each night, cleaning it with a toothbrush and toothpaste to minimize germs on it, and leaving it out overnight. You may alternatively soak it in a denture cleaner overnight, but this is not usually necessary.  Leaving it out overnight allows your tissues to return to normal.

Diet – Diet is very important in prevention of cavities and in the healing and continued health of your bone and gum tissues that support the teeth. Exposure of teeth to carbohydrates feeds the cavity-causing germs, allowing them to begin destruction of enamel surfaces. Juice is a very concentrated source of carbohydrates. It can be diluted with water 50:50 and/or limited to the breakfast meal only, then go brush your teeth.  Many people think they should not eat before a dental visit.  If this is necessary we will instruct you to do so(See “Nitrous Oxide”). Otherwise, this is the exact opposite of what we recommend.  Please eat a normal amount of healthy food to prevent a low blood sugar incident.

Local Anesthesia – The numb feeling will last 2 to 4 hours or longer.  It’s very important to not bite your tongue or lip when they are numb. We therefore recommend not eating until the numbness has worn off.

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