Dentist - Chicago
220-222 W. Huron, Suite 4002
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 548-7579 (Office)
(312) 573-2032 (Fax)

Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

 

POST OP ORAL SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS

Things not to do:

1. Do not apply heat to the face at any time. This will increase swelling.

2. Avoid spitting, sucking (straws), and smoking for 48 hours. This creates a negative pressure in your mouth and tends to dislodge the blood clot. This leads to additional bleeding.

3. Avoid any sports or strenuous exercise for 24 hours. Physical activity causes the blood pressure to rise and may cause renewal of bleeding.

BLEEDING: It is normal for minor bleeding to occur for the first 24 hours following surgery. Place a piece of gauze over the surgery site and bite firmly on the gauze for at least 30 minutes. DO NOT chew on it. If the bleeding continues, call our office.

MOUTH RINSE: Do not rinse for 24 hours after surgery. Then, after meals, gently rinse with warm salt water - 1 tsp salt to 8 ounces water. This will speed healing by maintaining a clean wound. Tooth brushing is also recommended if you are careful to avoid the wound.

EATING: You should have liquids and very soft foods for the first 24-48 hours following the surgery. Be careful not to chew hard foods near the surgical area.

SWELLING: It is normal to experience some degree of swelling. You can place ice over your face for 20-30 minutes at a time during the first 24 hours to reduce pain and swelling.

MEDICATIONS: Take all medications as directed. This is essential. The medications are prescribed specifically to control pain and infection. You may switch to Advil or Tylenol for discomfort when you no longer need prescription strength medications. If pain persists, please contact our office.

 

FILLINGS:

1. Do not eat on your new filling for one hour and until your numbness is gone.

2. If you are supervising children who had fillings done, make sure they do not bite on their numb lips or tongue (it can cause serious injury to their soft tissue).

3. Do not bite hard or chew on silver amalgam fillings for 24 hours.

4. You may experience cold and heat sensitivity and some gum soreness; this usually subsides within a few days.

5. Call our office if you experience pain or discomfort for more than a few days after the fillings, or if you have any questions.

 

CROWNS AND BRIDGES (also INLAYS and ONLAY):

1. Crowns and bridges usually take 2 or 3 appointments to complete. On the first appointment, the tooth/teeth are prepared, impressions are taken, and a temporary crown is placed on your tooth/teeth.

2. You may experience sensitivity, gum soreness, and slight discomfort on the tooth/teeth; it should subside after the placement of the permanent crown(s).

3. Whenever anesthesia is used, avoid chewing on your teeth until the numbness has worn off.

4. A temporary crown is usually made of plastic-based material or soft metal. It can break if too much pressure is placed on it. The crown may also come off; if it does, save the crown and call our office. The temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth and prevent other teeth from moving. If it comes off it should be replaced as soon as possible. To avoid losing your temporary, do not chew on sticky or hard food (chewing gum, ice). Try to chew on the opposite side of the temporary as much as possible.

5. Continue your normal brushing but be careful while flossing around the temporaries (remove the floss gently from the side). If it is difficult to get the floss between the temporary and surrounding teeth, refrain from flossing until you receive your permanent crown.

6. After the permanent restoration is placed you may feel slight pressure for a few days. Also, the bite may feel different for a day or two. But if after 2-3 days the bite still feels uneven or if you feel discomfort when chewing on the tooth, call our office. Delaying the necessary adjustments may damage the tooth permanently.

7. Call our office if you are in pain or if you have any questions.

 

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT:

1. You may experience moderate pain and sensitivity to pressure on your tooth. Also, you may feel gum soreness for few days after your treatment. The healing process may take several days but the pain and discomfort should subside gradually.

2. Take any medication that was prescribed for you according to instructions.

3. Usually a temporary filling has been placed on your tooth; do not bite on the tooth for one hour and while you are numb. Also, until the permanent restoration is placed, be very gentle with the tooth. Try to chew with the opposite side.

4. Continue your brushing and flossing.

5. Follow up with the placement of your permanent restoration as you have been advised. Any unnecessary delay in placement of final restoration may damage the tooth permanently.

6. Call our office if you are in severe pain or experience swelling, or if you have any questions.

 

TEETH CLEANING (DEEP CLEANING/SCALING AND ROOT PLANING):

1. You may experience some cold and heat sensitivity (especially after deep cleaning).

2. If you have received anesthesia do not eat anything until the numbness has worn off.

3. Continue your regular brushing and flossing.

4. Some bleeding for a day or two after cleaning is normal, but if you experience any excessive bleeding call our office.

5. Call our office if you are in pain or if you have any questions

 

DENTURE DELIVERY:

1. You will experience some discomfort with any new denture for a few days. All new dentures need several adjustments to completely and comfortably fit your mouth.

2. You should take the dentures out every night and keep them in a clean container filled with water or denture cleaning solution. Your gums need to rest and be without the dentures every day for a period of time.

3. Clean dentures thoroughly with a brush and water before putting them back in your mouth.

4. It may be difficult to talk normally with the new dentures for a few days. One way to practice is to read a book or newspaper out loud for a period of time everyday. Your tongue and muscles will get used to the new dentures and you will talk normally very soon.

5. Call our office if you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or if you have any questions.

Thank you.

 

Infants

Infants should be seen by our office after the first six months of age, and at least by the child's first birthday. By this time, the baby's first teeth, or primary teeth, are beginning to erupt and it is a critical time to spot any problems before they become big concerns.

Conditions like gum irritation and thumb-sucking could create problems later on. Babies who suck their thumbs may be setting the stage for malformed teeth and bite relationships.

Another problem that can be spotted early is a condition called "baby bottle tooth decay," which is caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby's mouth.

If left untreated, this can lead to premature decay of your baby's future primary teeth, which can later hamper the proper formation of permanent teeth.

One of the best ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay is to not allow your baby to nurse on a bottle while going to sleep. Avoid dipping pacifiers in sweet substances such as honey, because this only encourages early decay in the baby's mouth. Encouraging your young child to drink from a cup as early as possible will also help stave off the problems associated with baby bottle tooth decay.

Teething, Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking

Teething is a sign that your child's gums are sore. This is perfectly normal. You can help relieve this by allowing the baby to suck on a teething ring, or gently rubbing your baby's gums with the back of a small spoon, a piece of wet gauze, or even your finger.

For babies under the age of 4, teething rings and pacifiers can be safely used to facilitate the child's oral needs for relieving gum pain and for suckling. After the age of 4, pacifiers are generally discouraged because they may interfere with the development of your child's teeth.

Moreover, thumb-sucking should be strongly discouraged because it can lead to malformed teeth that become crooked and crowded.

Primary and Permanent Teeth

Every child grows 20 primary teeth, usually by the age of 3. These teeth are gradually replaced by the age of 12 or so with a full set of 28 permanent teeth, and later on, four molars called "wisdom teeth."

It is essential that a child's primary teeth are healthy, because their development sets the stage for permanent teeth. If primary teeth become diseased or do not grow in properly, chances are greater that their permanent replacements will suffer the same fate. For example, poorly formed primary teeth that don't erupt properly could crowd out spaces reserved for other teeth. Space maintainers can sometimes be used to correct this condition, if it is spotted early enough.

Brushing

Babies' gums and teeth can be gently cleaned with special infant toothbrushes that fit over your finger. Water is suitable in lieu of toothpaste (because the baby may swallow the toothpaste). Parents are advised to avoid fluoride toothpastes on children under the age of 2.

Primary teeth can be cleansed with child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrushes. Remember to use small portions of toothpaste (a pea-sized portion is suitable), and teach your child to spit out, not swallow, the toothpaste when finished.

Fluoride

Fluoride is generally present in most public drinking water systems. If you are unsure about your community's water and its fluoride content, or learn that it has an unacceptable level of fluoride in it, there are fluoride supplements your dentist can prescribe. Your child may not be getting enough fluoride just by using fluoride toothpaste.

Toothaches

Toothaches can be common in young children. Sometimes, toothaches are caused by erupting teeth, but they also could indicate a serious problem.

You can safely relieve a small child's toothache without the aid of medication by rinsing the mouth with a solution of warm water and table salt. If the pain doesn't subside, acetaminophen may be used. If such medications don't help, contact your dentist immediately.

Injuries

You can help your child prevent oral injuries by closely supervising him during play and not allowing the child to put foreign objects in the mouth.

For younger children involved in physical activities and sports, mouth guards are strongly encouraged, and can prevent a whole host of injuries to the teeth, gums, lips and other oral structures.

Mouth guards are generally small plastic appliances that safely fit around your child's teeth. Many mouth guards are soft and pliable when opened, and mold to the child's teeth when first inserted.

If the tooth has been knocked out, try to place the tooth back in its socket while waiting to see our office.  Remember to hold the dislocated tooth by the crown—not the root. If you cannot relocate the tooth, place it in a container of cold milk, saline or the victim's own saliva. Place the tooth in the solution.

First, rinse the mouth of any blood or other debris and place a cold cloth or compress on the cheek near the injury. This will keep down swelling.

For a fractured tooth, it is best to rinse with warm water and again, apply a cold pack or compress. Ibuprofen may be used to help keep down swelling.

If the tooth fracture is minor, the tooth can be sanded or if necessary, restored by the dentist if the pulp is not severely damaged.

If a child's primary tooth has been loosened by an injury or an emerging permanent tooth, try getting the child to gently bite down on an apple or piece of caramel; in some cases, the tooth will easily separate from the gum.

Irritation caused by retainers or braces can sometimes be relieved by placing a tiny piece of cotton or gauze on the tip of the wire or other protruding object. If an injury occurs from a piece of the retainer or braces lodging into a soft tissue, contact our office immediately and avoid dislodging it yourself.

Sealants

Sealants fill in the little ridges on the chewing part of your teeth to protect and seal the tooth from food and plaque. The application is easy to apply and typically last for several years.