For Our Patients

Post-Operative Instructions Following Tooth Extraction
Post-Operative Instructions for Temporary Crowns and Bridges
Caring for Your Crown
After Your Root Canal Treatment
About Your New Partial Or Full Denture
Diet Restrictions For Sealants
Post Operative Instructions Following Bone Graft Procedures

Post-Operative Instructions Following Tooth Extraction

    1. Keep continuous pressure on gauze for 1 to 2 hours.  Try to keep your tongue and jaws very still.  No talking.  During this 2 hour period we recommend sitting or reclining as opposed to lying down.
    2. After the gauze is removed, it is normal for the extraction site to seep a little blood.  If you feel you are continuing to bleed, place a regular moist tea bag over the site and bite for 1 hour.
    3. For the next 4 to 5 hours, place an ice pack (crushed ice in a zip lock bag wrapped in a damp towel) on the side of your face alternating 5 minutes on and off.  Ice will be of no value after the first 5 hours.
    4. For the next 24 hours: VERY IMPORTANT!
        • NO SPITTING
        • NO RINSING
        • NO SMOKING
        • NO STRAWS
        • NO HOT FOODS
        • NO HOT LIQUIDS

      ALL OF THESE THINGS WILL CAUSE PROLONGED BLEEDING AND SLOWER HEALING.

    5. Cool or cold, soft food and cold drinks are recommended for 24 hours (ice cream, jello, applesauce, pudding, protein drinks, milk shakes, etc.)
    6. Be sure to take prescribed medications as directed for a prompt recovery.  A good pain reliever is Advil or NuprinTylenol can be used with these or alone.  Aspirin should not be used with Advil or Nuprin.  If you have any problems or questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (361) 592-5248 or Dr. Clements at (361) 739-6381.

Post-Operative Instructions for Temporary Crowns and Bridges

    1. Avoid chewing on the temporary crown or bridge as much as possible.
    2. Clean the area thoroughly to aid healing and avoid infection.  Flossing, however, should not be done.  The upward motion can pull the temporary out of position.
    3. The gingiva (gum) around the tooth will be sore for a period of time after the preparation appointment.  Keep the area clean and use warm salt water rinses (1 level teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 oz. of warm water).
    4. The temporary crown or bridge is placed on the prepared tooth for several reasons.  Tooth protection is one of the reasons, the other is to keep the tooth exactly where it was at the time of preparation.  If the temporary becomes dislodged it will be your responsibility to place it back on with Vaseline until an appointment can be made to have it recemented.  Do this whether the tooth hurts or not!  If Vaseline is used, remove the temporary when eating or sleeping.  You should avoid extremely cold or hot temperatures while the temporary is off.  If the tooth is left uncovered it will move and the permanent crown or bridge may not fit properly.

If you neglect this responsibility and the tooth moves out of position, this will necessitate our making a new crown or fixed bridge. To avoid this unpleasant circumstance for all concerned, please call our office at (361) 592-5248 or Dr. Clements’ at (361) 739-6381.

Caring for Your Crown

Your crown has just been seated.  You have just made a worthy investment to preserve your oral health.  Congratulations!  Here is some information to help you protect this investment.

    1. You must floss around your crown or under the bridge daily.  This is very important!  This will prevent future gum disease and decay under the crown.
    2. Remember the gums will still be irritated from the whole treatment procedure so allow for some sensitivity for a few days.
    3. You may also have some sensitivity to cold due to the type of cement used.  This should become less sensitive overtime.
    4. Your new crown or bridge may feel tight and “different”, but it should feel very natural after a few days.
    5. Your new crown or bridge should allow you to bite, in most cases, as you did before.  There may be a further need to adjust your bite if your crowned tooth feels sore or tender.  The crown cannot adjust itself, so call and come in for an appointment.
    6. The evening after your crown is placed, clean around it thoroughly.  You may find specks of cement that can irritate your gums if they are not cleaned out.
    7. Avoid sticky or hard candy due to the danger of pulling off your crown.

If your crown should come uncemented, put it in a safe place and call the office at (361) 592-5248 or Dr. Clements at (361) 739-6381.

After Your Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a very sound and tested techniques which serves as the alternative to extracting an abscessed tooth.  In most cases, the integrity of the mouth can be preserved and the tooth can be retained indefinitely through proper restoration and oral hygiene.  Realize, though, that we are dealing with an infection and certain precautions should be taken on your part to prevent unnecessary discomfort and promote rapid cleaning.

    1. ANTIBIOTICS—These should be taken as prescribed and completed.  This will aid in reducing the chance of swelling and reinfection.
    2. ACTIVITIES—For 24 to 48 hours, activity levels should be kept low.  As activity increases, so does your blood pressure.  This may lead to a thumping pain in the treated tooth.
    3. CHEWING—Avoid undue wear and tear on the area.  You wouldn’t run 5 miles on a broken foot, so why stress a sore tooth.
    4. PAIN CONTROL—If you are having pain, it is important that you take pain control medication on a regular schedule — every 4 to 6 hours as needed to keep the pain under control.  A combination of Advil (Ibuprofen) alternated with Tylenol is very effective.  Aspirin should not be taken with Advil.  Although it may seem like you are taking a lot of medication, it is okay to do so while under our care.
    5. TIME—As a rule, even the most severely abscessed tooth will become comfortable in 12 to 24 hours.  If severe pain persists after a 48 to 72 hour period or swelling occurs, we should be informed immediately.
    6. SECOND APPOINTMENT—It usually takes two appointments to start and finish a root canal.  Failure to complete root canal treatment can result in the loss of your tooth.
    7. RESTORATION—After root canal treatment is finished, a crown “build up” is placed in the tooth which restores the body of the tooth.  As the final restoration, a crown must be placed over the tooth to prevent breakage and possible tooth loss.

If you have any problems or questions, please do not hesitate to call the office at (361) 592-5248 or Dr. Clements at (361) 739-6381.

About Your New Partial Or Full Denture

Here are some helpful things to know about your new partial or full denture.

    1. It is normal for your new partial or full denture to feel different at first.  Remember you probably have more teeth in your mouth now than you have had in several years, plus gum material necessary to hold the new partial or full denture in place.  This feeling of “too much” will disappear.
    2. It’s normal to collect large amounts of saliva in your mouth in the beginning.  This will lessen as your mouth adjusts to having something new in it.
    3. Along with the sensation of having something different in your mouth, you may also get the feeling that your new lower denture is loose.  This feeling will go away as your tongue, lips, and cheeks train themselves to hold the lower denture in place.  Remember there is not as much of your own bony ridge on the lower arch to hold the lower denture in as there is on the upper arch.  Be patient, it takes time to master the use of a lower denture.
    4. When you first begin to eat with your full dentures, it is helpful to cut your food into small pieces and to mash it evenly by chewing up and down with food on both sides at the same time.  Eventually you will be able to manage almost anything, but it’s definitely something you must learn.
    5. With the partial or full denture, you can expect to have some sore spots that will need adjusting. Taking them out is okay, but it is very important that you wear your partials or dentures 24 hours before your adjusting appointment.  This enables us to clearly see the sore spots and better adjust the area on your partial or denture to make them more comfortable.
    6. You should remove your partial or full dentures at night while you sleep unless otherwise instructed.  This gives the tissues a chance to “rest” and keeps the blood circulating to the areas normally covered by the partial or full denture.
    7. You should remove your partial or full dentures after each meal and rinse them, and your mouth.  As a daily cleaner we recommend one of the popular denture cleansers such as Efferdent or Polident.  When cleaning your partial or full denture you should also massage the gums and soft tissue in your mouth with either a toothbrush or a wet cloth.  This will keep blood circulating to those areas as well as remove bacteria that may lead to bad breath.
    8. For those of you who are experienced partial or full denture wearers, you can expect some difficulty with the new ones.  It’s like buying new shoes.  At first they feel different but before you know it, they’re all broken in.  Just like the new shoes, it takes time to get used to the new partial or full dentures.  It is important that you only wear the new ones, so don’t be tempted to put the old partial or denture back in.

If you have any problems or questions, please do not hesitate to call the office at (361) 592-5248 or Dr. Clements at (361) 739-6381.

Diet Restrictions For Sealants

Sealing over the pits and grooves of teeth is a very wise and preventive measure.  Congratulations!  Now you should be aware of the following precautions in order to get the most benefit from your new sealants.

It is very important to follow the diet restrictions listed below:

    1. Do not eat sticky candy such as taffy, Red Hots, Jolly Ranchers, etc.   It can pull the sealants out.  Sugarless chewing gum is okay.
    2. Do not bite on extremely hard foods such as hard clear ice cubes, unpopped popcorn kernels and the like.  These could break or chip part of the sealant leaving the tooth susceptible to decay.

As parents, be sure to keep these diet restrictions in mind when giving your child snacks.

We offer a one year guarantee on all sealants.  Any that are lost in less than one year (excluding abuse) will be resealed at no charge.  However, with reasonable diet and care, most people get many years of service from a single sealant.  All previously sealed teeth will be checked at preventive hygiene visits for any possible loss or breakage of the sealant.

Post Operative Instructions Following Bone Graft Procedures

    1. Keep your teeth together with gentle pressure on the dampened gauze for the next 3 hours.  Keep your tongue and jaws very still.  Swallow your saliva gently.  Sit in a recliner during that time.
    2. For the next 48 hours:
        • Brush your teeth with only a tiny amount of toothpaste, avoiding the surgery area.
        • NO spitting or rinsing except very gently
        • NO smoking
        • NO straws
        • NO hot liquids or foods
        • Eat only cold liquids or cold soft foods, avoiding the surgery area (liquid protein drinks like Ensure, Atkins Shakes, etc. or ice cream, Jello, applesauce, puddings, etc.)
    3. Take all prescribed medications.  If you can take it, regular Advil (ibuprofen) works great for pain.

If you have any problems or questions, please do not hesitate to call the office at (361) 592-5248 or Dr. Clements at (361) 739-6381.