Crowns and Bridges Post-Operative Instructions
When damages to a tooth are extensive, it should be restored with a crown or also known as a cap. Crowns can be made from metals such as gold, palladium, and titanium; or from porcelain or plastic polymers. A fixed bridge is made from two or more crowns attached together to support and fill the space created from missing or extracted teeth. During the preparation for a crown the defective structure of a tooth will be removed to make room for the crown materials. Then an accurate mold will be taken and sent to the dental laboratory to fabricate the final crown. A second appointment is required to cement the crown permanently.
FIRST APPOINTMENT Crown Preparation – Following the first appointment you will receive a temporary crown that is placed and cemented to the prepared tooth. Because temporary cement washes out rapidly, you may experience some sensitivity to cold and hot. Try to brush the area gently and when you floss, pull the floss out from the side rather than upward. The rapid upward motion may dislodge the temporary crown. If a temporary crown becomes loose or falls out, clean the temporary cement from the inside the crown, then apply vaseline inside the crown and place it back on the tooth. Immediately call and come back to the office to get the crown either re-cemented or re-fabricated.
SECOND APPOINTMENT Final Cementation – Please do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after your new crown is cemented. Do not eat hard or sticky foods for 24 hours while the cement completely sets. Your new crown may feel tight or as if it is pushing against the teeth next to it for several hours. This discomfort will go away within a day or two. Sensitivity, especially to hot and cold is common after a crown is cemented. This may be the result of a chemical reaction between the final cement and the tooth. The sensitivity usually subsides within a week to ten days. Usually the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be. You should make an adjustment appointment if the sensitivity persists or increases. The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days. Please follow prescribed oral hygiene instructions-45 degree angle brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to avoid getting a cavity or gum disease around your new crown. Flossing is especially important in preserving the health of your crown or bridge. A correctly fabricated crown or bridge should function as comfortably as your own tooth.