Adhesive dentistry is now part of almost every dental practice. The term bonding is one of the most common terms thrown around in dental circles. Historically, adhesives date all the way back to 1955 when acids were used as tooth surface treatment before adding resin to the enamel. This was part of first generation dental adhesives, which failed when they interacted with water. Second generation adhesive and bonding systems were introduced in the seventies with the aim of improving the coupling agents that failed in the first generation adhesives. They added an ionic bond component to the calcium in the tooth together with the chemical components. Again, these kinds of bond failed when they were brought into contact with water. The third generation introduced an important component, an acid etching meant to modify or partially remove the smear layer. Fourth generation dental adhesives are the ones in use today and were the first to introduce the smear layer.
After an adhesive dentistry treatment, it is important to take care of yourself and your teeth to ensure long lasting solutions. Here are some of the basics involved in adhesive dentistry post-operative care.
- Do not rinse your mouth after the operation for at least 12 hours. This allows time for the bonding process to complete.
- It is important to keep your mouth clean. Maintain the recommended dental hygiene practices like brushing your teeth, but treat the affected area gently taking care not to bruise or destroy the bond. If there is still an anesthetic effect, avoid eating or drinking until it has worn off. This will prevent you from accidentally burning or chewing your cheeks. Avoid foods that are too hot or cold, or overly spicy as the area will likely still be sensitive for a few days.
- Avoid smoking for at least 5 days after the treatment. Smoking reduces the rate of healing and raises the rate of infection, which can be very painful. If you are a regular smoker, ask your pharmacist for alternatives like nicotine patches.
Other factors to deal with after the operation include:
Bleeding: This is best controlled through the use of pressure. Bite on a moist gaze or tea bag, or place it directly over the affected area. Avoid vigorous rinsing of the mouth, spitting or sucking using a straw. Avoid general physical exertion or exercise for at least 48 hours.
Medication: Do not skimp or forget to take any medication prescribed, especially antibiotics. Be sure to finish the whole prescription in order to avoid the more resistant bacteria which may grow back much faster and stronger.
Cleaning: Do not brush at or near the surgical area or use any non-prescription rinses until at least after 24 hours, because it might disturb the healing. After 48 hours, a recommended exercise is to rinse the mouth with warm salt water at least 3 times a day. The rest of the mouth should, however, be cleaned normally.
Here At LB Dental, we have a comprehensive post-operative care program, and our staff is always available to answer any questions and respond to emergency situations even after the process. Feel free to call us with any questions you may have: 602-482-5100