Complications after dental treatment are rare, but do occur unexpectedly at times. Listed here are some problems that could arise after common procedures and what you can do until you can be examined by your Central Dental dentist.

  • Concerns after Cosmetic Procedures:
    • Bite Feels “Off” – It usually takes a few days for you to become accustomed to changes in your bite or position of your teeth; however, if this feel persists for more than a week give our team a call and we’ll reserve a simple adjustment appointment for you.
    • Pressure or Temperature Sensitivity – It’s expected that you may have some hot and/or cold sensitivity while you are getting adjusted to the changes in the natural tooth structure and the new materials to restore it. This is completely normal.
    • Gum Soreness – Tenderness of the periodontal tissue, or gums, is another normal response of the body in relation to recent cosmetic procedures. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water) will help reduce the swelling and ease any discomfort. Rinse, swish, spit!
    • Difficulty Speaking – You may speak with a lisp or sound a little muffled after the initial completion of your cosmetic dentistry. Your body will naturally adapt to the changes and the issue should resolve within approximately a week.
    • Increased Salivation – An increase in the amount of “spit” your body produces shortly after cosmetic procedures is a natural reaction to leaving something “foreign” in the body. As your body becomes used to the changes this should resolve.
  • Concerns after Crown & Bridge Procedures:
    • Numbness after Appointment – Your teeth, lips, and tongue may remain numb for several hours after your appointment depending upon the amount of anesthetic used. You will need to avoid eating or chewing until full feeling has been regained; failure to do so may result in unnecessary trauma to the cheeks and tongue.
    • Pressure or Temperature Sensitivity – It’s expected that you may have some hot and/or cold sensitivity while you are getting adjusted to the changes in the natural tooth structure and the new materials to restore it. This is completely normal.
    • Gum Soreness – Tenderness of the periodontal tissue, or gums, is another normal response of the body in relation to recent cosmetic procedures. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water) will help reduce the swelling and ease any discomfort. Rinse, swish, spit!
    • Temporary or Provisional Crown Issues – Occasionally a temporary crown will become loose, break, or fall off all together. If this happens, protect the temporary in a safe place (not your pocket) until we can bond it back in place for you. We’ll likely see you on the same day if this occurs during business hours.
    • Bite Feels “Off” – It usually takes a few days for you to become accustomed to changes in your bite or position of your teeth; however, if this feel persists for more than a week give our team a call and we’ll reserve a simple adjustment appointment for you.
  • Concerns after Fillings:
    • Numbness after Appointment – Your teeth, lips, and tongue may remain numb for several hours after your appointment depending upon the amount of anesthetic used. You will need to avoid eating or chewing until full feeling has been regained; failure to do so may result in unnecessary trauma to the cheeks and tongue.
    • Pressure or Temperature Sensitivity – It’s expected that you may have some hot and/or cold sensitivity while you are getting adjusted to the changes in the natural tooth structure and the new materials to restore it. This is completely normal.
    • Eating after Fillings – White fillings set completely at the time of your appointment, so you should be able to eat immediately after feeling returns to the area. On the other hand, if you came in for amalgam (silver colored) fillings, you should not chew directly on the fillings for 24 hours. We suggest you chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
    • Bite Feels “Off” – It usually takes a few days for you to become accustomed to changes in your bite or position of your teeth; however, if this feel persists for more than a week give our team a call and we’ll reserve a simple adjustment appointment for you.
  • Concerns after Root Canal Therapy:
    • Numbness after Appointment – Your teeth, lips, and tongue may remain numb for several hours after your appointment depending upon the amount of anesthetic used. You will need to avoid eating or chewing until full feeling has been regained; failure to do so may result in unnecessary trauma to the cheeks and tongue.
    • Temporary Filling Wearing Away or Breaking – A temporary filling or crown is often used to protect the tooth between root canal therapy appointments. It is not uncommon, or cause for concern, if small pieces of the temporary filling break or wear away. Give us a call if it the temporary filling or crown falls off entirely so we may place it back on the tooth.
    • Discomfort – You may be slightly uncomfortable the first several days after your root canal therapy, especially while chewing. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water) will help reduce the swelling and ease any discomfort. If pain medication was prescribed, you should take it as directed to keep the discomfort manageable. You must take antibiotics, if prescribed, in their entirety even if you are feeling better. We will need to see you in the event that pain is unmanageable or swelling persists longer than the first several days.
    • Bite Feels “Off” – It usually takes a few days for you to become accustomed to changes in your bite or position of your teeth; however, if this feel persists for more than a week give our team a call and we’ll reserve a simple adjustment appointment for you.
  • Concerns after Tooth Extraction:
    • Bleeding – It is expected that there will be some bleeding after the extraction of a tooth. Your saliva will likely have a pink tint. It’s important that the bleeding be controlled so healing can begin. If bleeding becomes excessive, more than a slow ooze, you may need to continue to bite down on dampened gauze pads to control it. It is recommended you replace gauze every 30 minutes. You may use moistened tea bags if you run out of gauze as it contains tannic acid which helps promote clotting. Try to avoid excessive physical activity, raised tempers and sitting upright as they all increase blood flow to the head. Give our office a call if your bleeding has not reduced after 48 hours.
    • Dry Socket/Throbbing or Increasing Pain – Pain generally subsides after an extraction; however, on rare occasions a dry socket may develop and pain will increase. Many patients describe this pain as a throbbing pain that radiates towards the ears. A dry socket develops when the blood clot becomes dislodged before healing is complete. A dry socket is not an infection, but it still requires your doctor’s attention. Give our office a call if you think you may have a dry socket. Here are some steps you can take to prevent your chances of experiencing the discomfort from a dry socket:
      • Do not smoke
      • Do not suck through a straw
      • Gently rinse your mouth after eating and drinking to remove food debris for the first 48 hours. Do not swish!
      • Brush and floss the teeth adjacent to the extraction site as you normally would. A clean mouth heals faster!
      • Limit yourself to calm activities and avoid physical excessive physical activity.
      • Drink lots of fluids
      • Eat only soft and nutritious foods for the first 24 hours; you may resume your normal diet thereafter or whenever you are comfortable enough to do so. No hot or spicy foods!
      • No alcoholic beverages
    • Persistent Pain/Swelling – It is normal to experience some pain and swelling after having a tooth extracted. You may apply ice to the outer cheek area surrounding the extraction site to keep swelling to a minimum. It’s recommended you use the ice in 15 minute intervals throughout the first 36 hours; after that moist heat may be used. Swelling usually completely subsides within ten days after the procedure. Use any prescribed pain medication as directed to keep the discomfort manageable. Take any antibiotics prescribed in their entirety even if you feel that it is no longer needed. If you have unbearable pain or severe swelling after two to three days give our office a call so we can schedule a time for your dentist to evaluate your condition.
    • Bone Fragments/Tooth Fragments – Small, pointed fragments of tooth or bone may slowly erupt through your gum tissue during the healing process. These are simply fragments that were too small to be removed during surgery. You may experience some tenderness during this process, so feel free to give us a call if you notice any pieces of a tooth like structure protruding from the extraction site.
    • Numbness – You may experience numbness around the extraction site for up to 10 to 12 hours after your procedure. If numbness persists longer you’ll need to be evaluated by your doctor at Central Dental.
    • Difficulty Opening and/or Closing the Mouth – Sometimes the muscles and jaw become sore after extractions. This soreness may last for about three to five days after the procedure. If the soreness does not subside you should schedule a TMJ consultation with the experienced professionals at Central Dental for further evaluation.

We encourage you to call our office if you have a question or concern about your care that has not been addressed above.

Central Dental Services