Home Care

To know what to expect after your dental procedure, our Hout Bay Dental Studio Team has put together some simple guidelines for your dental treatment aftercare.

After Composite White Fillings

After receiving an anaesthetic, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. You can easily bite or burn your tongue or lips while they are numb.

It's normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Brufen), Panado or Myprodol (one to two tablets every three to four hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. Please contact our office at 021 790 2910 if pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or you experience increased sensitivity to hot or cold.

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anaesthetic completely wears off. Composite fillings are fully functional when you leave the office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 021 790 2910 so that we can assess and assist.

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, we prepare the teeth and take impressions of your mouth.  We place protective temporary crowns or bridges while the lab manufactures the custom restoration. Since the area will be anaesthetised, the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off.

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can recement it. The temporary restoration needs to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising your final restoration fit.

To keep your temporary in place, avoid eating hard or sticky foods (such as toffee or chewing gum), and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush as usual, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss as it may dislodge the temporary; instead, pull the floss out from the temporary crown's side.

It's usual to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. If indicated, use mild pain medications as directed by our office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 021 790 2910 so that we can assess and assist.

After a Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, a blood clot must form for the bleeding to stop and begin the healing process. Hence we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing persists, place another gauze pad over the wound and bite down firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is essential not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids in healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth extraction, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas, or similar, applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medication as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If prescribed antibiotics, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and infection symptoms are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat as usual as soon as you feel comfortable.

It is important to resume your regular dental routine after 24 hours - this should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. Proper cleaning will speed the healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days, you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 021 790 2910 so that we can assist.

After Major Dental Work

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the new feel of your bite. After altering the bite or teeth positioning, it takes several days for the brain to recognise the new placement or tooth thickness. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office to schedule an adjustment appointment.

You can expect some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after tooth structure removal and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. A warm salt-water rinse (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. Mild pain medication such as one to two tablets of Myprodol or Panado every three to four hours should ease any residual discomfort.

  • Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for your new dental work's long-term success, as are regular professional cleaning appointments. 

  • Any food that can crack, chip, or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances (such as hard nuts, ice, fingernails, pencils, and sticky toffees).
  • Avoid smoking as it will stain your new teeth.
  • Minimise or avoid foods that stain, such as coffee, red wine, tea, and berries.