Home Instructions

The Tempe AZ Cosmetic Dentistry practice of John G. Fletcher, DMD, PLLC has provided the self care information below for use after your dental procedure. Contact us if you have any questions.

After Cosmetic Reconstruction | After Crown and Bridge Appointments | After Dental Surgery | After Gum Surgery | After Dental Fillings


After Cosmetic Reconstruction

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new dental work, including your bite. When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, please call our office at Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

Occasionally patients experience some hot and cold sensitivity in their teeth following dental work. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure or decay and may be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will accelerate healing of the gums. Over the counter pain medication (Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) every 3–4 hours) should ease any residual discomfort. Always follow the directions on the medication packaging unless Dr. Fletcher has given special dosing instructions.

Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments.

Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new dental work. Be careful eating hard foods (such as nuts, peanut brittle, ice) and avoid biting or tearing substances such as pens, pencils, opening packages with your teeth, etc.

Hard, sticky candies are not good for your dental work. Smoking will stain your new teeth as well as natural teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine and tea. If you frequently engage in sports let us know so we can make a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth. If you grind your teeth at night we can make a protective night guard for you.

Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile may take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions: Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550.


After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and impressions of the mouth are taken. Custom made provisional crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made.

Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips and roof of the mouth may be numb immediately after you leave our office. Please refrain from eating or from drinking hot beverages until the numbness is completely worn off. In the rare occasion that a provisional crown comes off please call us at Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550. Bring the provisional crown with you so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration. To keep your provisional crown in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.

Occasionally patients experience some hot and cold sensitivity in their teeth following dental work. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and decay and may be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will accelerate healing. Over the counter pain medication (Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) every 3–4 hours) should ease any residual discomfort. Always follow the directions on the bottle unless Dr. Fletcher has given special dosing instructions.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550.


After Dental Surgery

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30–60 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing continues, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids 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 inhibit the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take the prescribed or recommended pain medications as instructed. The swelling and pain usually subsides after 24–48 hours. Call our office at Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the surgery.

You can return to eating normally as soon as you are comfortable. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. If sutures (stitches) were placed we may schedule you to return 7–10 days after surgery to remove them. After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2–3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550.


After Gum Surgery or Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

After gum surgery or deep cleaning of your teeth you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take the prescribed or recommended pain medications as instructed. The swelling and pain usually subsides after 24 hours. Call our office at Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If local anesthetic was used be careful to avoid injuring lips and cheeks by inadvertently biting them. Waiting a few hours for the numbness to wear off is wise before eating.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the surgery.

Oral hygiene is important so please follow the instructions given to you after your appointment closely.

You can return to eating normally as soon as you are comfortable. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. If sutures (stitches) were placed we may schedule you to return 7–10 days after surgery to remove them. After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2–3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550.


After Composite or White Fillings

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb.

It is possible to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), Tylenol or aspirin work well to alleviate the tenderness. You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off since they are fully set 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 Tempe Office Phone Number 480-839-4550.