PATIENT HOME CARE FOLLOWING CROWN OR BRIDGE APPOINTMENT
If you have had an anesthetic, please be careful not to bite your tongue or the inside of your cheeks. Avoid eating chewy foods until the numbness has worn off. It is important that the temporary crown (or bridge) stay in place until the permanent crown is inserted. If the temporary crown becomes dislodged or feels uncomfortable, please call us so that we may see you as soon as possible. Do not attempt to “glue” the temporary crown back in yourself or “go without it” as the teeth may become sensitive or shift slightly preventing insertion of the permanent crown. You can use a denture adhesive like Fixodent to temporarily hold the crown or bridge in until you can get to our office. Some cold sensitivity and tenderness around the gum is normal for the first few days.
To prevent pulling a temporary crown off, be careful when flossing by pulling the floss through instead of forcing it through the teeth contact, and brush carefully and thoroughly. It is important to brush and keep gum tissue as clean as possible. Remember, we are happy to see you to check the temporary crown if you have a question prior to insertion of the permanent crown.
LONG TERM CARE OF YOUR NEW CROWN OR BRIDGE:
Now that your crown or bridge has been cemented there are a few things to expect and to care for. Initially, you may experience some sensitivity to cold as the tooth may be slightly irritated by the cement. Sensitivity toothpaste generally helps (ie. Sensodyne or Colgate for Sensitive teeth). Also, if after a couple of days your “Bite” seems off or it just doesn’t feel normal, please call our office for a slight adjustment. It is extremely important to maintain excellent oral hygiene with your new crown or bridge. Some people have the misconception that a crowned tooth no longer needs to be maintained. That is simply not true. Crowns and bridges are still susceptible to decay near the gumline the same as a natural tooth.
The crown strengthens the portion of the tooth above the gumline but this margin area requires special care. Normal brushing and flossing is a must. Additional use of a fluoride rinse (ie. Act or Flurogard), and a high fluoride content toothpaste or gel are excellent for preventing additional root decay. These additional aids are extremely important for a patient with a high decay rate and/or a history of periodontal disease.
Most all crowns and bridges have a ceramic outer layer or are all-ceramic. These materials are very strong and colour stable but they still have the potential to fracture the same as a natural tooth, as a rule of thumb, don’t do anything with a crown or bridge that could damage a natural tooth.
Fixed bridges require additional cleaning under the pontic (missing tooth). Since this “Fake tooth” is connected to the adjacent teeth a bridge threader is used to thread floss under it to remove plaque. These are readily available at most pharmacies. We would be happy to demonstrate how to use them.