Post-care instructions

Recommendations for Post-Treatment Care after Root Canal Therapy

Congratulations! By saving your tooth with root canal treatment, you have made a significant step towards better oral health. The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, shaped and sealed.

Please promptly call your dentist for an appointment to place a permanent restoration on your tooth. Any delay in obtaining a permanent restoration may cause the tooth to fracture or may cause the tooth to become re-infected.

It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Take pain relievers as instructed and before the anesthetic wears off and continue taking for two or three days as directed. Following this recommendation may substantially decrease your discomfort after treatment. Narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised when operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after.

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact our office immediately.

  • Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until it is restored by your dentist.
  • Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would do.
  • If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact our office.

Contact our office right away if you develop any of the following:

  • Visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth.
  • Allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction).
  • Return of original symptoms.
  • Significant pain.
  • Bite feels high or uneven.

Numbness of the tissues that persist beyond hours after procedure.

Recommendations for Post-Treatment Care after Surgical Endodontics

  1. Apply ice to the surgical site for fifteen minutes on, fifteen minutes off – for four to six hours after surgery. Applications after this period will have only slight benefit.
  2. Your local anesthesia will wear off in two to four hours. It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Take pain relievers as instructed and before the anesthetic wears off and continue taking for two or three days as directed. Following this recommendation may substantially decrease your discomfort after treatment.
  3. Oral Rinses. Do not start using the prescribed mouth rinse until the day after your procedure. Rinse twice a day for one week (after brushing).
  4. Do not use any medication that your physician, pharmacist, etc. has advised you not to take. Please follow manufacturer’s instructions and discontinue alcohol use with medications.
  5. Take all routine medications as directed by your physician. Immediately stop using any drug that causes stomach upset or allergic reactions (including hives, rash, facial swelling, asthma, or wheezing). Seek immediate medical attention if any complications arise.
  6. Follow your normal home care (tooth brushing/flossing) routine except avoid the surgical site for a few days.
  7. Eat meals at regular intervals but avoid food that may traumatize the incision site. Avoid spicy and hot (temperature) food and liquids.  Good foods are eggs, soup, pancakes, milkshakes or yogurt.
  8. Drink plenty of water.
  9. No use of alcohol or smoking.
  10. We know that you are anxious to see the results of your surgery, but please do not forcibly pull your lips or cheeks away to inspect the surgical site. This action could possibly tear your sutures.
  11. Sleep with two pillows to slightly elevate your head during the first night.
  12. If bleeding persists, please contact the office. Minimal bleeding after surgery is normal.
  13. Call us immediately if you experience more than slight swelling or discomfort.
  14. Numbness of the tissues that persist beyond hours after procedure.