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.

 

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals.


Types of dentures



Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position.

Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.

Complete or full dentures are made when all of your natural teeth are missing. You can have a full denture on your upper or lower jaw, or both.

Complete dentures are called "conventional" or "immediate" according to when they are made and when they are inserted into the mouth. Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. To make this possible, the dentist takes measurements and makes the models of the patient`s jaws during a preliminary visit.

An advantage of immediate dentures is that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums can shrink over time, especially during the period of healing in the first six months after the removal of teeth. When gums shrink, immediate dentures may require rebasing or relining to fit properly. A conventional denture can then be made once the tissues have healed. Healing may take at least 6-8 weeks.

An overdenture is a removable denture that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth or implants. The natural teeth must be prepared to provide stability and support for the denture.

Partial dentures are often a solution when several teeth are missing.

Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments. Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than metal clasps and are nearly invisible. Crowns on your natural teeth may improve the fit of a removable partial denture and they are usually required with attachments. Partials with precision attachments generally cost more than those with metal clasps.



How are dentures made?



The denture process takes about one month and five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a "try-in" is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient`s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments.

First, an impression of your jaw is made using special materials. In addition, measurements are made to show how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them (bite relationship). The color or shade of your natural teeth will also be determined. The impression, bite and shade are given to the dental laboratory so a denture can be custom-made for your mouth.

The dental laboratory makes a mold or model of your jaw, places the teeth in a wax base, and carves the wax to the exact form wanted in the finished denture. Usually a "wax try-in" of the denture will be done at the dentist`s office so any adjustments can be done before the denture is completed.

The denture is completed at the dental laboratory using the "lost wax" technique. A mold of the wax-up denture is made, the wax is removed and the remaining space is filled with pink plastic in dough form. The mold is then heated to harden the plastic. The denture is then polished and ready for wear.
 

Getting used to your denture



For the first few weeks, a new denture may feel awkward or bulky. However, your mouth will eventually become accustomed to wearing it. Inserting and removing the denture will require some practice. Your denture should easily fit into place. Never force the partial denture into position by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.

At first, you may be asked to wear your denture all the time. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is the quickest way to identify those denture parts that may need adjustment. If the denture puts too much pressure on a particular area, that spot will become sore. Your denture can be adjusted to fit more comfortably. After making adjustments, you may need to take the denture out of your mouth before going to bed and replace it in the morning.

Start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces. Chew on both sides of the mouth to keep even pressure on the denture. Avoid sticky or hard foods, including gum.
 

Care of your denture



It's best to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water when handling your denture, just in case you accidentally drop it. Brush the denture (preferably with a denture brush) daily to remove food deposits and plaque, and keep it from becoming permanently stained. Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, which can damage the denture. Look for denture cleansers with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture`s metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay.

Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean dentures is also acceptable. Other types of household cleaners and many toothpastes are too abrasive and should not be used for cleaning dentures. A denture could lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist. At night, the denture should be placed in soaking solution or water. However, if the appliance has metal attachments, they could be tarnished if placed in soaking solution.

Even with full dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Every morning, brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important for maintaining a healthy mouth.
 

Adjustments



Over time, adjusting the denture may be necessary. As you age, your mouth naturally changes, which can affect the fit of the denture. Your bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, resulting in a loose-fitting denture. Loose dentures can cause various problems, including sores or infections. Dentures that do not fit properly can be adjusted. Avoid using a do-it-yourself kit to adjust your dentures, as this can damage the appliance beyond repair. Glues sold over the counter often contain harmful chemicals and should not be used on a denture.

If your denture no longer fits properly, if it breaks, cracks or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see your dentist immediately. In many cases, dentists can make necessary adjustments or repairs, often on the same day. Complicated repairs may require that the denture be sent to a special dental laboratory.

Over time, dentures will need to be relined, re-based, or re-made due to normal wear. To reline or re-base a denture, the dentist uses the existing denture teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture base. Dentures may need to be replaced if they become loose and the teeth show signs of significant wear.
 

Common concerns



Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet.

Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells.

Some people worry about how dentures will affect their speech. Consider how your speech is affected when you have a number of your natural teeth missing.

Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will help. If your dentures "click" while you`re talking, speak more slowly. You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If a speaking problem persists, consult your dentist.
 

Denture adhesives



Denture adhesives can provide additional retention for well-fitting dentures. Denture adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult with your dentist immediately.