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Hackensack Dental Associates 201-342-2222

Dental Emergencies            
                Root Canal Therapy 
               Tooth Colored Fillings



Activities of Daily Living: There should be no restrictions in your daily activities.


 Diet: Follow a soft or liquid diet for 24 hours or more following Dental Trauma or Injuries.

Gradually work back to your normal diet.

General Measures

  1. Apply ice packs to your face close to the injured area for 10 to 20 minutes each hour for 24 hours.
  2. Do not rinse your month for 24 hours.
  3. Do not place any biting pressure on the injured area for several days.

Medication: If medicines are prescribed, take them according to the instruc­tions on the prescription.

Notify your dentist if any of the following occurs:

  1. Swelling occurs around any of the treated teeth.
  2. Sharp pain (requiring strong medication) is felt on the third or fourth day after the accident.

Dentists pull teeth for one of two reasons: (a) loss of supporting tissue (bone and gums); or (b) infection involving the nerve (pulpal tissue) of the tooth. This type of infection develops when germs find an entry into the nerve canal of the tooth diseased with decay or fractured. Certain fractured teeth cannot be restored and have to be extracted. If the fracture involves the nerve canal, infection usually results.

Instructions for Home Care

Activities for daily living: There are no restrictions on your usual daily activities.

General measures:

  1.  Keep you mouth closed firmly in order to produce pressure on the gauze sponge that has been placed in the socket to prevent bleeding. ( The “socket” is the space left after the tooth is extracted.)
  2. Leave the gauze sponges in place for three to four hours.  They may need changing approximately every thirty minutes if the sponge becomes soaked with blood.
  3. To help prevent excessive bleeding, don’t spit.
  4. Apply an ice pack for ten minutes at a time to the skin on the side of the face on which the tooth was extracted.
  5. DO NOT suck on cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or straws for the next 24 hours.
  6. After 24 hours, use warm salt water mouth rinses to soothe discomfort and to prevent accumulation of food particles. Rinse gently. Make the solution with one teaspoon of plain table salt in a glass of lukewarm water.

Diet: Follow a soft or liquid diet for 24 hours or more.  Do not drink any alcoholic beverages.

Medications: You make take aspirin, buffered aspirin, Tylenol, or other simple pain remedies.

Notify your dentist if any of the following occurs:

  1.  Heavy bleeding develops. This may be suspected if the gauze sponges are still being saturated with blood after two hours.
  2. Any bleeding from the socket occurs after 18 hours.
  3. Severe nagging or “gnawing” pain is present at the extraction site after 24 hours.
  4. Elevation of temperature over 101 degrees F orally develops.


Teeth, just as any other part of your body, can become infected.  The infection usually is caused by (1) a deep cavity entering the nerve of the tooth, or (2) traumatic injury to the tooth.  The infection forms an abscess that will require examination and testing for accurate diagnosis.  An abscessed tooth is nearly always evident with an x-ray.  A tooth with an abscess need not necessarily be extracted, because a dental procedure commonly called root canal therapy will control the infection and allow healing.  This treatment will save your t ooth and avoid the harmful effects of tooth loss.

Root canal therapy is usually done in one or two appointments.  The first step is to remove the nerve (pulpal tissue) from the small hollow tube (root canal) located down the center of the tooth.  Then a strong medicine is usually sealed in the canal until the next appointment.  At this or the next appointment your dentist will file and prepare the canal. Next the canal will be permanently filled and sealed.  The abscessed area at the end of the root canal (under the gum) will start to heal slowly and may require several months for complete healing.  Your dentist will want to check the healing process by comparing x-rays taken at a later date with the original x-rays.

Instructions for Home Care

Activities of daily living:  There are no restrictions

General Measures:

  1. Between treatment appointments, avoid heavy biting.
  2.  Brush and clean your mouth daily

Diet: Eat a regular diet if you are able to do so without pain

Medications:  If an antibiotic is prescribed during treatment, you should take the medication exactly as directed on the prescription.

Notify your dentist if the following occurs:

  1. Swelling in the gum around the tooth being treated develops
  2. Temperature above 101 F develops
  3. The tooth feels as if it is “coming out of the socket.”
  4. The tooth becomes loose

Pain develops which cannot be controlled by simple remedies such as Tylenol, or Ibuprofen.


Badly decayed or broken teeth often must be repaired by using a cap or a crown.  Your dentist will recommend this procedure when  filling the tooth to its proper shape becomes impossible.  Composite filling material has its limitations.  After a cavity has been prepared, you must have enough good sound tooth left to hold the composite material without the risk of fracturing.  A cap or crown is a replacement of the part of the tooth which is above the gum line.  Crowns fit over the tooth.  Crowns protect the teeth and restore their biting function.

Instructions For Home Care

Activities of Daily Living: There are no restrictions on your usual activities.  However, sticky sweets such as sugar daddy’s and taffy may be strong enough to pull the crown off so avoidance of these is important.

General Measures:

  1. Do not bite on your new crown for an hour after it has been replaced, so that the cement can harden to its full strength.
  2. Brush and floss the crown as you do your natural teeth.

Medications: None should be needed.

Notify your dentist if the following occurs:

  1. The crown becomes loose or moves when you bite.
  2. The tooth is sensitive to pressure three days after it is cemented
  3. Gums become swollen around the new cap.

Note:  Sensitivity to foods and liquids is a normal reaction to a new cap and may last for several weeks

Decay can attack any surface of the teeth.  The most common surfaces are the tops and the sides.  If the decay is detected in time, it can easily be removed and the absent tooth structure is replaced with a white composite filling.  Composite fillings have made many advancements over the years and we strive to use the most up to date yet clinically proven material available.  The material is actually bonded to the tooth structure and light cured to transform it to a hard, tooth like consistency.

 Instructions for Home Care:

 Activities for daily living: There are no restrictions on your usual daily activities.

 General Measures:

  1. You are able to eat and drink normally as soon as the appointment is over since the material is light cured at the office and is as hard as it will ever get.
  2.  Brush and floss the tooth with the filling the same as your other tooth.
  3. Sensitivity to cold and biting pressure are not uncommon, especially in the first few weeks.
  4. Seek regular check ups to so the doctor can check the status of each filling.

Notify your dentist if the following occurs:

  1. You have spontaneous pain that lingers for over 30 minutes.
  2.  It feels as if the filling is too high, or you are hitting the filling first when you bite down.