Arbours Aesthetic Dentistry In Rancho Santa Margarita California
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Jennifer A.
I am usually very scared of the dentist, but everyone I saw at my visit made me feel comfortable and cared for. It was MUCH more pleasant than the dentist I went to before! And, I really enjoyed being able to watch TV during my entire treatment – it really helped me keep my mind off what was going on inside my mouth! THANK YOU!!! J
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Your Post-Operative Procedures

Thank you for choosing Arbours Aesthetic Dentistry to provide what we believe is the best possible care for your dental health needs.  We want your experience to be as comfortable and pain free as possible.  Just as we encourage patients to be knowledgeable and involved in their own treatment, we urge you to take a pro-active approach to learning and following these post-operative procedures.  Simply click on the link below that describes your treatment. And please call us if you have any questions or concerns.  We’re here for you. 

I have a new composite filling
I have a temporary crown or onlay
I have a permanent crown or onlay
I have had a tooth extracted
I have a night guard
I have had a root canal
I have undergone scaling and root planing (Periodontal Therapy)
I have temporary veneers
I have permanent veneers


  • Don’t be alarmed if you experience soreness in your gums after a tooth restoration. It may occur where your anesthetic shots were administered, or it may be a reaction to the procedure itself.  Use an over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the soreness.  It will go away in a few days.  If pain persists for more than a couple of weeks, please call us.
  • Your composite filling at first may feel a little odd to the touch of your tongue.  After all, it can’t be a 100% match to the texture and contour of your original tooth.  You will get used to the filling quickly.
  • The resin material used in your composite filling can crack if subjected to the pressure of chewing very hard substances. Avoid rock candy, hard biscuits or crackers, ice, nuts, raw carrots and similar foods.  (The same is true of your own teeth—always be careful with hard foods!) 
  • Composite fillings harden fast, so you can resume eating right away.  It’s different with children, however.  Be sure to prevent them from eating until after the anesthetic wears off. The numbing effects of anesthetics can cause children to overcompensate in chewing.  They might bite their tongue or cheeks.
  • You may experience sensitivity to hot and cold after a restoration.  This is common.  If you had a deep cavity, the sensitivity could be magnified. It will typically go away in a few weeks time.  If not, your bite may not be in balance with other teeth.  We can correct this with a simple follow-up procedure.  Call for an appointment and we’ll take care of you.  
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If your crown or onlay is temporary:

  • Soreness can occur around your gums after the placement of a temporary crown or onlay.  It may have occurred when your anesthetic shots were administered, or it may be a reaction to the procedure itself.  Use an over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the soreness.  It will go away in a few days.
  • You may experience sensitivity to hot, cold and sweets.  This is not unusual. Temporaries do not have the strength or sealing properties of permanent crowns or onlays.
  • Please avoid chewy or hard foods!  Again, temporaries do not have the strength or sealing properties of a final tooth restoration.  Certain foods can loosen, pull out or break a temporary.  Unless we have discussed it with you in advance, please avoid flossing around the temporary.
  • In the event that a temporary comes out, save it if you can and call us immediately.  It is extremely important that the temporary be replaced within a few days to avoid later problems with the fit of your permanent crown or onlay, which will differ in shape and size.  You may also experience sensitivity to hot and cold until the temporary is replaced. 

If your crown or onlay is permanent:

  • Please avoid chewy or hard foods!  The cement we use for your permanent crown or onlay requires one day—a full 24 hours—to cure, or set up, in order to maximize its adhesiveness.  Carmel candy or beef jerky, as an example, could possibly pull out your permanent restoration.
  • Getting used to the feel of your permanent crown or onlay may take several days.  This is normal, as is sensitivity to hot or cold.  In some cases, hot or cold sensitivity can last longer.  It may be due to the integration of a crown with your bite.  If your bite doesn’t feel right, we’ll make it right.  The procedure is simple.  Just give us a call.
  • Maintaining the health in and around your tooth restoration is no different than with your own teeth.  You must brush and floss properly, and schedule regular cleanings. Without this maintenance, problems can occur such as periodontal disease if they are not discovered and treated early on, an all-new tooth restoration could be required.
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If you have had a tooth extracted, there are critical steps that you must follow so that the healing process can take its course—most significantly, the formation of a blood clot at the extraction site to bring the bleeding under control.  Here are the procedures you should observe for up to 48 hours after an extraction.


  • Bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after the extraction.  Use additional gauze pads in 30-minute increments if bleeding persists.  Call us if the bleeding has not stopped after several hours.
  • Use an ice pack to manage swelling.  Swelling is to be expected and generally will subside in a couple of days.
  • Rinse gently with a warm saltwater solution three times each day for about 30 seconds and after each meal. 
  • Take all the antibiotic pills that may have been prescribed to prevent infection, even after indications of an infection are gone.  If you are taking pain medication, use it only as directed.
  • Eat only soft foods and drink lots of fluids on the day of the extraction.
  • Begin eating normally the day following the extraction.
  • Resume your daily regimen of brushing and flossing 24 hours after the extraction. 


  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or eat spicy or hard to chew foods after the extraction. 
  • Don’t spit, suck through a straw or rinse your mouth aggressively.
  • Don’t participate in physically stressful activities. 
  • Don’t clean teeth next to the site of the extraction for at least one day.

Any of the above activities run the risk of disrupting the healing process.  Follow them scrupulously for 24 hours after the extraction.   After two or three days, you should begin to feel like yourself again.  If not—if you experience acute pain, continued bleeding or swelling, or a reaction to medications—call us immediately.

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We have provided you with a night guard, also called an acrylic bite or occlusal splint, to help your jaw muscles and joints to relax and function properly.  As we discussed with you, lower jaw problems range from stress, to trauma, to childhood developmental defects.  Whether you are clenching or grinding your teeth, constant muscle pain or spasms may occur.  When experiencing  painful lower jaw issues that interfere with sleep, the night guard is an appliance that will evenly distribute your bite forces and help you overcome these problems—provided you observe these essential procedures:

  • Without exception, wear your night guard every night.
  • If you are clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, you may also wear it then.
  • Food or plaque will accumulate under the splint.  Clean it thoroughly, by brushing and rinsing all surfaces, at the same time you are brushing and flossing your teeth each day.
  • Regularly soak your night guard in a denture cleanser such as Efferdent to maintain freshness.
  • When you aren’t wearing the night guard, keep it safely out of reach from toddlers and pets.
  • Please call us if your pain persists or increases after wearing the splint.  An adjustment may be required.
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Root canals are typically at the top of anyone’s list of least favorite dental procedures, and for good reason.  The aftermath often includes pain, swelling, sensitivity to hot and cold, and sensitivity to even the slightest pressure.  You can lessen the effects by following these steps:

  • Please use the pain medication we recommend to you, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, and use it only as directed.  If the medication is not helping, please call us to discuss alternatives.
  • Soreness is possible in your gums near the root canal.  It may occur where your anesthetic shots were administered, or it may be a reaction to the procedure itself.  The recommended pain medication should help this, also.  Contact us if the soreness persists.
  • If swelling persists in the days following your root canal, get in touch with us right away.  You may require different or additional medications.  Contact us or the referring specialist who treated the tooth.
  • Use great care in your choice of foods following the root canal and up to your final tooth restoration.  After a root canal, the tooth is brittle and easily fractured.  (We may recommend a temporary filing until a permanent crown is placed.)
  • After a root canal it is not uncommon for patients to experience a feeling that the tooth is higher in their bite than previously, a sensation that may prolong sensitivity.  This can be corrected with an easy-to-perform bite adjustment in our office.  Just let us know if this has occurred to you.  
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Scaling and Root Planing (Periodontal Therapy)

Complications can easily ensue after Periodontal Therapy if you are not extremely vigilant in the cleaning of your teeth.  During the first few weeks especially, your gums are vulnerable to bacterial infection during the healing process.  Brush and floss with great care twice each day.  If you do not follow this procedure, it is probable that you could develop even more destructive bacterial growth, undoing the beneficial effects of the therapy.  Please observe these procedures, as well:

  • Rinse gently with a warm saltwater solution for two or three days after the therapy or the recommended mouth rinse given to you by the hygienist. 
  • Use an over-the-counter pain medication if you experience any tenderness. We will be happy to recommend choices that we think are appropriate for you. 
  • Until your anesthetic wears off, we urge you eat cautiously and sparingly.
  • Use desensitizing toothpastes and fluoride rinses available at any pharmacy if you experience sensitivity to hot or cold.  This is normal for after scaling and root planing, and sensitivity will dissipate with these combined procedures.
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If your veneers are temporary:
  • Temporary plastic veneers are designed for short-term use only.  Because they are attached for easy removal once your permanent veneers are ready, they can easily detach if you are not careful.  Avoid flossing and intense brushing until your permanent porcelain veneers are in place.
  • See us as soon as possible if a temporary comes off or becomes loose.  We will replace it at once. If you are traveling or otherwise unavailable should this happen, use a denture adhesive to keep it in place.  They are readily available at any pharmacy.
  • It is normal to experience sensitivity—hot, cold, sweets, pressure—on the tooth underlying the temporary veneer.  Remember, they are lightly attached and can expose the tooth to food, beverages and saliva.  Until your permanent veneers are ready, make a dedicated and careful effort to keep your temporaries (as well as your teeth) as clean as you can.  Some staining may occur during the temporary process, try and avoid dark colored beverages.  The staining will easily polish off prior to the cementation of the permanent veneers.

Special Reminder:  The size, shape, and color of temporary veneers do not resemble your porcelain veneers. We take great care to ensure that your final restorations are as close as possible to your natural teeth in look, feel and function.

If your veneers are permanent:

Though today’s porcelain veneers are technically and scientifically advanced, and made with great precision and strength, they are no less susceptible to damage than your natural teeth. 

  • Veneers require the same maintenance as your teeth.  Take care that they are included in your daily brushing and flossing regimen.
  • Problems affecting the stability and appearance of your permanent veneers can be corrected if caught early on.  Just as you would with a natural tooth, don’t delay.  Waiting most often exacerbates the problem and could necessitate all new veneers.
  • Porcelain veneers can break if subjected to the pressure of biting into hard substances. Avoid tearing or biting into rock candy, hard biscuits or crackers, ice, nuts, raw carrots and similar foods.  (The same is true of your own teeth—always take care with hard foods!)
  • If properly cared for, porcelain veneers will last for many, many years.  After a long period of time, however, they are subject to problems such as receding gums and fracture lines, which will require replacement veneers.   We’ll be here to help.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered above?  Call us at 949-709-1900, and we’ll be delighted to help!

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29861 Santa Margarita Parkway Suite 200
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Phone: 949.709.1900
Fax: 949.830.2352
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