Dental crowns are a highly effective way to restore teeth that have been managed by decay or other incidents. This process covers a damaged tooth completely with an artificial tooth that looks and behaves almost the same as your regular tooth. If you’ve had a dental crown placement procedure, or you’re thinking about getting a dental crown, you may be wondering about dental crown placement post-op care. Here’s a list of what to do after your dental crown placement procedure.
What to Do After Your Dental Crown Placement
Your dental crown post-op care comes in two steps. First, your dentist will remove the decayed and damaged parts of your teeth, and cover the remaining parts of your tooth with a temporary crown. This temporary crown is only intended to protect the softer tissues of your tooth until your permanent crown is placed. At your next appointment, the dentist will place a permanent crown that looks and feels like a regular tooth. Let’s take a look at what to do after your dental crown placement at each step.
After Your Temporary Crown Placement
During your first appointment, your dentist will remove the decayed parts of your tooth and cement a temporary crown in place. During this process, parts of your mouth will be numb, and this numbness will remain for a few hours after the appointment. During this time, it’s a good idea to avoid eating, so you don’t accidentally bite your lip or cheek. Once the numbness fades, you’ll probably feel some discomfort. Over-the-counter painkillers should help.
- Avoiding eating while your mouth is still numb
- Use over-the-counter painkillers as needed
After the temporary crown placement procedure and until you get your permanent crown, you’ll need to chew with, brush, and floss your temporary crown carefully. Don’t eat any sticky foods, like toffee or chewing gum. When you brush your teeth, be gentle with your temporary crown. Avoid flossing around your temporary crown. If you must floss around it, extract the floss by sliding it through your teeth, instead of pulling it up. If your temporary crown is dislodged, contact your dentist as soon as you can.
- Brush carefully around the temporary crown
- Don’t eat sticky foods
- Avoid flossing around the temporary crown
- If the temporary crown is dislodged, contact your dentist
After Your Permanent Crown Placement
Your permanent crown is much sturdier than your temporary crown, and it’s designed to work just like a regular tooth, but your permanent crown needs a bit of time to heal. Immediately after your appointment, you’ll experience numbness and discomfort similar to your previous appointment. While your mouth is numb, avoid eating. If you feel discomfort, use over-the-counter painkillers as directed.
For the first hour after your appointment, avoid eating or drinking altogether. The cement that holds your permanent crown in place needs a bit of time to set. For the first 24 hours after your appointment, avoid chewing on the side of your mouth with the dental crown, and avoid flossing around the crown for about 48 hours.
- Don’t eat while your mouth is numb
- Avoid eating or drinking for an hour
- Avoid chewing on the affected side for 24 hours
- Avoid flossing around the crown for 48 hours
For about two weeks after your permanent crown is placed, you may experience some sensitivity to heat and cold. As your mouth adjusts to the tooth, it may also feel strange or oversized. This is normal, and should go away in about two weeks. If the discomfort continues, contact your dentist. As your mouth adjusts to the new crown, it’s especially important to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Brush and floss your teeth diligently as your dentist instructs. Cavities can damage your tooth and affect the crown, or create an infection.
Once your crown has set and your mouth has adjusted to the new tooth, you can eat with, brush and floss your teeth normally. Though your new tooth is extremely tough, remember that it can still be cracked or damaged by the same things that can damage your other teeth, like chewing ice or hard candy, or biting into hard objects. If your dental crown is ever damaged or falls off, keep the crown or any parts of it, and contact your dentist right away.
- Expect some sensitivity in the following weeks
- Brush and floss your teeth as instructed by your dentist
- Avoid chewing ice or biting hard objects with your dental crown
Dental crown post-op procedures vary a bit from dentist to dentist. Always follow your dentist’s instructions. If you live in the Las Vegas area and you have questions about what to do after your dental crown placement, or you have questions about dental crowns in general, contact your nearest BDG office today.