patient information / home instructions

Dentist in Missoula Mt


Depending on the extent of change with your new bite, it may take some time to adjust. After several days your brain will recognize the new position and shape of your teeth and accept them as normal. Please call us at 406-549-5861 should you have any problems.

It is normal to experience some temperature sensitivity. As your tissues around your teeth heal the sensitivity should diminish. OTC pain medication may be used as directed and warm salt water rinses are also effective.

Excellent home-care including brushing and flossing are vital to the long-term success of your new smile. Regular exams and cleaning are also very important to in maintaining your oral health.

As with natural teeth, crowns, veneers, or fillings may also chip or break. It is important to avoid hard foods that may damage your new teeth. Habits such as chewing on ice, cutting with your teeth, or biting fingernails or pencils should be avoided at all times.

We are happy to provide you with a sports mouth-guard if you are to engage in sporting activities. If you clench or grind your teeth it is also vital that we fit you with a custom night-guard. Please call us should you have any concerns or questions.

Most crowns can be completed in a single appointment utilizing our computer aided design and milling Cerec technology. Once the crown is bonded to the tooth, typically no other treatment is necessary.

Bridges and crowns that are fabricated in the dental lab require multiple visits. During the first visit, the teeth are prepared for the crown or bridge and a mold is taken. The mold is sent to the lab for permanent crown or bridge fabrication. Meanwhile, a temporary crown or bridge is placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made.

On occasion, a temporary restoration may break or come off. Please contact us immediately at 406-549-5861 to schedule an appointment to re-cement the crown or fabricate a new one. The temporary restoration protects the tooth from hot/cold sensitivity and prevents adjacent teeth from moving. If teeth have moved, the fit of the permanent restoration will be compromised.

Please follow these simple guidelines to keep your temporary in place. Avoid hard or sticky foods. Try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Don’t be overly aggressive with flossing and brushing in the area of the temporary. When flossing, avoid pulling up and popping the floss out as this may dislodge the temporary. Instead, thread the floss out from under the contact to the side.

It is not uncommon to experience some sensitivity to temperature and pressure following a crown or bridge preparation. This can last up to a few weeks. If symptoms persist or get worse, please call us.

And, as with any procedure using local anesthetic, please refrain from eating or chewing until the “numbness” wears off. This prevents possible injury to the tongue, cheeks, and lips.

  1. Bite on gauze sponges for 30 minutes after the surgery to encourage the bleeding to clot. Replace the sponges with new water-moistened gauze sponges for another 30 minutes if fresh, red blood is present. Keep the head elevated and rest. Do not spit or rinse excessively or engage in physical activity since this stimulates bleeding. If bleeding continues after this time, bite on a teabag for 30 minutes. You can expect oozing and blood stained saliva for 24-48 hours after surgery. Contact our office if red, free flowing blood is present.
  2. Do not drink or eat hot foods or hard foods today, as you may dissolve or loosen the blood clot. Eat cool, soft, nutritious foods today.
  3. Do not “suck” on the wound site for the next few days. You may disturb the blood clot, causing bleeding, slow healing, and/or bone pain often called a “dry socket.”
  4. Do not eat hard foods for a few days in the part of your mouth where the surgery was accomplished. You could disturb the healing.
  5. Avoid smoking during the first week after surgery.
  6. Do not overexert yourself during the next 24 hours. Patients who have sedation should refrain from driving an automobile or from engaging in any task that requires alertness for the next 24 hours.
  7. If pain persists after several days, please contact us for instructions.


  1. Brush teeth but avoid the surgery area. As healing takes place, you can gradually brush teeth near the surgery site. Soften the bristles by placing them under hot water.
  2. Use warm salt water as a mouth rinse 3-5 times per day for 5-7 days after surgery. (1tsp salt in a glass of warm water)
  3. Dry socket is a delayed healing response which may occur during the 3rd-6th postoperative day. It is in a lower socket and associated with a throbbing pain on the side of the face which may seem to be directed up toward the ear. In mild cases, simply increasing the pain medication for a few days can control the symptoms. If this is unsuccessful, please call your doctor to arrange for some medication to be temporarily placed in the socket. They generally get better whether treated or not. Dry sockets can be brought on by rinsing or spitting too much the first day, too much physical activity, using a straw, smoking, birth control pills, particularly difficult surgery, and pre-existing infection. They are twice as common in patients over 30.

Don’t chew hard (even on a hard crust of bread or on ice) for 4-6 weeks after having lower wisdom teeth removed or participate in sports where you may be hit in the jaw. The lower jaw is temporarily weaker and the bone may crack requiring the jaws be wired together for healing.

It is normal to feel numb for several hours after dental treatment if anesthetic was used. Please avoid eating until numbness has gone away. Your fillings are completely set when you leave our office and you may chew on them when comfortable.

Areas where anesthetic were used may feel sore for several days and pain medication may be used as directed by our office. If your bite feels uneven after a couple days please call us to schedule an adjustment.

If any discomfort is persistent please call our office at 406-549-5861.