After Onlay, Crown and Bridge Procedures

A temporary crown has been placed over the prepared tooth to aid in prevention of fracture, decay, and sensitivity. This temporary material is not as strong as other fillings or restorations and is designed to come off fairly easily, so it is recommended that you chew on the other side of the mouth, avoid flossing around that tooth and eating sticky, hard, or chewy foods until your permanent restoration is in place, usually two to three weeks after initial preparation of the crown or onlay.

WHAT TO EXPECT: When a tooth is prepared for a crown, bridge or onlay, the enamel is usually removed, exposing the inner layer of the tooth, called dentin. Dentin is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in temperature or air and water, so the tooth will need to be anesthetized before preparation begins. You will be numb for 2-6 hours after treatment, so be very careful about eating until the numbness wears off. It is normal to experience numbness on the tongue and will eventually go away. The doctor most likely used a laser or retraction cords to retract gum tissue, which is necessary for proper impression-taking, and may cause temporary discoloration around the tooth.

In some cases, there may be decay that has reached deep into the tooth, and it may have been necessary for Doctor to place a protective base coat, called a pulp cap, to protect the nerve of the tooth so as to help prevent and/or avoid a root canal. This procedure is regarded as a conservative treatment. The application of medicated cement in the tooth helps the pulp of the tooth to repair itself by containing the decay and allowing the buildup of a wall of tooth structure between the pulp and the decayed material. Though rare, a pulp cap does not always guarantee that the tooth will not need a root canal in the future.

Following crown preparation, expect the treated area to be sore for 4-7 days. It also may be sensitive to hot and cold for 4-7 days if the treated tooth is still vital (does not have a root canal). Bleeding and discoloration of the gums around the tooth is normal and will subside after a few days with proper care.

PAIN: It is normal for your tooth to be sore and tender after treatment, and will most likely be increasingly sore on the second day. If you feel that the pain and soreness is uncomfortable, you can take analgesics such as Advil (ibuprofen) or aspirin tablets, or other pain medication with which you are familiar. If you develop a rash or if you become nauseated, discontinue medication and contact our office.

RECOMMENDED HOME CARE:   It is highly recommended that you rinse with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt to 8oz lukewarm water) 4-6 times daily and chew on the other side. Rinsing with warm salt water will help the gums heal faster and reduce any pain that may be associated with the work done around the gum line.


ORAL HYGIENE: Brush and floss normally, but we recommend careful flossing around the temporary to avoid pulling it off before your appointment. If food gets lodged around the temporary, bring floss down between the teeth toward the gum line, dislodge the food, and then pull the floss out to the side.

DIET: While waiting for your permanent restoration appointment, it is important that you avoid chewing on the side with the temporary crown. Foods to avoid include nuts, pop corn, and other hard, crunchy, or chewy foods like steak and gum, that could possibly break or pull out the temporary. Stick to eating a softer diet such as mashed potatoes and soup if necessary.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office, we will be glad to speak with you!


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Alexander A. Vizcarra, DMD, APC
Esthetic | Family | Implants
"Dentistry Done Differently"

La Habra dentist, Dr. Alexander A. Vizcarra DMD is a dental professional dedicated to general, family, and cosmetic dentistry with services including dental exams, dental makeovers, teeth whitening, veneers, crowns, x-rays, cleanings, and more. Please call our dentist in La Habra, CA to schedule your next appointment.

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