Fixed Crowns or Bridges
You have just had a crown or a fixed bridge cemented to replace your missing tooth structure or missing teeth. It is expected that you will benefit from years of good service provided you observe the following cautions and general guidelines.
- Anesthetic Effects: Your anesthetic may last several hours. Please be careful not to bite your lips, cheeks or tongue while they are numb.
- Feel of your Bite: Your bite will feel different for approximately 3 – 4 days. Your tongue will magnify the tooth shape difference and this too will accommodate itself in approximately 3 – 4 days. If it is still uncomfortable after a week, please contact us so we can make an appointment to adjust your restoration.
Since your procedure is accomplished in one or two office visits, your teeth will feel different to your lips and tongue when you first close your mouth. This is normal and to be expected when changes have been made to the shape and size of the teeth. Sometimes, your speech may change or be affected in the beginning until your tongue adapts to the changes.
Even though the changes are slight, (measurable only in millimeters), your mouth is extremely sensitive and will exaggerate those feelings at first. Usually, after a couple of days, the feelings lessen and your mouth will feel normal again.
- Sensitivity: Don’t worry about mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods as this sensitivity will disappear gradually over a few weeks. Please notify us if you have long term sensitivity or sensitivity that lingers for some time after you swallow. Sometimes sensitivity may go away after we adjust your bite. Use fluoride gel as advised by us. (This requires a prescription.)
- Problems: Call us immediately if any of these conditions occurs:
- A feeling of movement or looseness in the restoration.
- Sensitivity which progressively gets worse
- A peculiar taste from the restoration site.
- Breakage of a piece of material from the restoration.
- Chewing: Do not chew hard foods on the restorations as they may fracture. Also, if you discover you are clenching or grinding your teeth, please inform us as we will arrange for a custom occlusal guard (i.e., Nightguard) to be fabricated. If you feel your bite does not adjust on its own in the next week, please call for an adjustment appointment.
- Brushing and Flossing: Brush and floss after eating and before bedtime. We recommend using a soft toothbrush for brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Try to floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. Use an electric toothbrush (such as SoniCare or Oral B).
- Rinsing: Use a fluoride rinse or non-alcoholic mouthwash. Swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds daily. Sodium fluoride is the only home fluoride that should be used. Certain mouthwash from brands such as Crest Pro-Health or Biotene do not contain alcohol. Alcohol softens bonding and weakens the bond of porcelain.
- Staining: Your teeth can still stain in the course of time so consume minimally foods that are prone to stain teeth like coffee, tea, foods with curry, soy sauce, any kind of cola, grape juice, red wine or blueberries. Routine dental cleanings will usually remove stains so stick to having one every six months. Do not use baking soda or any abrasive toothpaste, including whitening toothpaste.
- Habits: Do not use your teeth to open packages, chew ice, or bite thread. Avoid biting into hard foods like ribs, bones, nuts, hard candy, and nuts as this puts stress on the restored teeth. Certain foods like spare ribs, corn, apples and carrots can put added stress on bonded teeth as well and possibly increase the need for repairs.
- Chipping and Fractures: If your tooth chips or fractures this will require only a simple restoration using the same or similar material. It is a short appointment and the fee is similar to that for a restoration on a front tooth.
- Restoration Life Expectancy: How long the restorations lasts depends on many things – the quality of the restoration, how you use your teeth in daily life, and how many time you take the time to clean your teeth. Longevity of your crowns and bridges ultimately depends on your habits and how much stress you place on your teeth.
- Recalls: Inadequate return for examination is the most significant reason for the restoration’s failure. Visit us at regular (3, 4 or 6 month intervals) examination periods. Often problems that are developing around the restorations can be found at an early stage and correct easily. Waiting for a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration, or even a root canal.
We have done our best to provide you with the finest quality materials available today. However, only your continuing care and concern can assure long-term good dental health.
Please call Argonaut Dental if you have any concerns.