Crown or Bridge Post-Op Instructions

After a crown or bridge preparation, some discomfort is normal. Dental work on a tooth is traumatic to the area and needs time to heal and settle down.

The body’s response to any procedure is to send blood to the area to help with healing; when it comes to teeth, however, your body tends to over respond.

Tissue in an area of your body that has been traumatized will swell. But a tooth is rigid and can’t swell, which is why you might experience a dull ache, pain while biting, or sensitivity to sweets or temperature after having a crown or bridge preparation.

Post-Procedure Tips

  • Take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen to limit or resolve any initial discomfort.
  • Normally, any pain should subside during the two-week period following your prep appointment. If it doesn’t or becomes severe, give us a call. In the meantime, refer to our OTC Pain Management Protocol.
  • Do not eat anything hard or sticky that could break or dislodge the temporary crown or bridge.
  • If possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips, and roof of your mouth may be numb. To avoid scalding your mouth, do not eat or drink anything hot until the numbness has completely worn off.
  • Try not to floss directly in the area of the temporary (to keep it from coming off). If you need to floss to dislodge a food particle, pull the floss gently through the side one way; do not pull it through in a back-and-forth or sawing motion.

If Your Temporary Crown or Bridge Comes Off

A temporary crown or bridge is placed to protect your teeth and hold the tissue and adjacent teeth in place until we deliver the permanent crown or bridge.

Leaving a temporary off for an extended period (unless we have directed you to do so) can compromise the fit of your final restoration.

  • Normally, you can put the temporary back on yourself using toothpaste or temporary cement (found at pharmacies) and save yourself a trip to our office.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable putting it back on yourself and have no pain while it’s off (other than minor sensitivity), then place it in a plastic bag and keep it in a safe place until you can be seen in our office during business hours. We will recement the temporary crown or bridge for you.
  • Important: Do not bite or chew on the unprotected teeth while your temporary is off.

If Your Temporary Crown or Bridge Breaks

Call our office for an appointment during business hours and we will gladly make and place a new temporary for you.

If Your Tissue Is Sore

During a crown or bridge prep procedure, some trauma typically occurs to the surrounding tissue resulting in soreness. Normally, the soreness will heal completely within a couple of days. You might also experience minor inflammation of the tissue surrounding the tooth because a temporary will not adapt to your tissue as well as the permanent crown or bridge.

At the site of injection for the local anesthetic, there can be some bruising and swelling of tissue, which can cause discomfort that lasts for a few days, just like a bruise on any other part of your body.

To help with soreness:

  • Rinse with warm salt water.
  • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (such as ibuprofen or naproxen).
  • If swelling or pain worsens, call our office.

If Your Jaw Is Sore

Any dental procedure that requires your mouth to be open for an extended period can cause soreness and stiffness in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and surrounding muscles.
If this occurs:

  • Avoid eating food that causes discomfort while chewing or that requires opening your mouth extremely wide.
  • You can apply a warm compress or an ice pack to the external jaw area to relieve the soreness.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen.