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Aftercare: Dental Crown Procedure
For many patients, a dental crown is a necessary procedure that is used to help restore a tooth. It is most often needed to repair teeth that have become damaged, decayed, misshapen or discolored. After the tooth is fixed, the crown caps it to restore its appearance and function. While the procedure itself is simple, it is imperative that dental patients follow proper aftercare procedures for fast and proper healing to ensure the longevity of the restoration.
Post-operative crown care information
The following details the proper care dental patients need to adhere to for both temporary and permanent crowns.
Temporary crowns are more fragile and extra care is needed to ensure the restoration sets properly and does not crack or fall out. Patients should abstain from eating and drinking for at least 30 minutes following the placement of the temporary cap so the cement can dry. It is important to avoid chewing gum and eating foods that are chewy, hard or sticky as these can dislocate the restoration. Patients should also chew on the opposite side of the mouth from where the crown is placed as much as possible. Tooth brushing should be done gently, and flossing directly around the temporary cap is not recommended.
The temporary crown is typically worn for a period of a few weeks before a permanent one is ready to be placed. A temporary cap that is properly cared for should last until the permanent one is ready to be placed. However, if the temporary does break or fall out, patients should call the dentist office as soon as possible. The dentist may want to replace it while waiting for the permanent cap to come in.
It is also important to avoid eating hard and sticky foods or chewing gum during the first 24 hours after a permanent crown is placed while the cement sets. Brushing teeth is allowed, but patients may want to floss more gently during the healing period. The tooth and gums may be sore for the first few days following the restoration, so dentists often advise patients to eat softer foods during the recovery period.
The recovery period after the placement of a dental crown is typically a few days. Patients may experience some inflammation, sensitivity and irritation following the procedure that should subside within a week or two. Warm salt water rinses a few times a day are recommended to help reduce swelling of the gums. Any pain issues should be easily managed with over-the-counter medications. If there is still discomfort, soreness or trouble biting after the recovery period, patients are advised to go back to the dentist to make sure the crown does not need any adjustments.
It is vital for patients who have had a dental crown placed to follow proper aftercare instructions for the procedure. Taking diligent care of the restoration can keep the crown strong and ensure a beautiful and lasting smile.
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