Aftercare Instructions

The purpose of the root canal treatment is to remove diseased tissue from inside of the root and seal the root end. Depending on each case, endodontic treatment may be completed in one, or more appointments. Once started, it is important to complete the root canal therapy.

After your root canal therapy has been completed:

You r endodontic, or root canal, therapy will usually maintain your tooth and relieve the pain you may have been experiencing. Please avoid biting on the tooth especially anything hard or sticky until a permanent restoration is placed on your tooth. Also, it may take a few hours for the anesthesia to wear off after the dental treatment. Therefore, avoid biting your lip, cheeks, and tongue to avoid injuring them.

You may brush the tooth gentlybut notfloss until after you receive a permanent restoration.

Will I have discomfort after the treatment?

It is normal for the tooth be tender for a few days after treatment. If you had pain on your tooth prior to the treatment, you will have slight pain after the appointment. Give the therapy a chance to work. If you develop pain you cannot tolerate, abnormal swelling, or fever, please call our office. Based on your condition, we might recommend medications or other treatment modalities to make you more comfortable.

Will I need pain medication?

It is recommended to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with healing, prevent / reduce swelling for up to three days after treatment. The recommended medication is Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) 600 mg every 6 hours up to three days. (If Ibuprofen does not help much please take in addition to the Ibuprofen  500 mg Tylenol every 6 hours).  Other over the counter analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications will alleviate the discomfort as well. Please be aware of maximum dosage and follow instructions for any medication you take.

If your doctor prescribed you a narcotic medication, they should never be taken in combination with alcohol, histamine blockers(antihistamines), tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, or any other agent that depresses the central nervous system. Narcotics increase the effects of these medications on the brain, and overdose can result from their combined us. Remember that you MUST NOT drive a car or engage in any type of activity requiring mental alertness while taking narcotic or sedative-type medications.

Do I need antibiotics?

In most cases, antibiotics are not required after endodontic therapy. Based on your condition, the doctor may choose to prescribe antibiotics before or after the procedure if needed.

What if I have swelling after the treatment?

If you develop swelling after the dental treatment, please call our office.

How should I care for my tooth?

After your endodontic therapy, you will receive a temporary restoration. Therefore, it is very important to not chew on that tooth, especially hard and sticky objects, such as caramel, jelly beans, gum, seeds etc, since it may cause the temporary restoration to come out or the tooth to break. If the temporary restoration becomes loose or comes out, please call our office immediately it may need to be replaced.

When can I get my permanent/final restoration?

Please call your referring dentist ASAP for a permanent restoration. Temporary restoration will only protect the tooth for 2-4 weeks. The sooner you get a permanent restoration, the less likely for the tooth to have a leakage, prevent bacteria recontamination, or fracture of the tooth. In a case of leakage or fracture, the tooth may need another endodontic therapy or extraction.

How long will my tooth last?

With proper care, your restored tooth can last a life time. Teeth with endodontic therapy can still decay. As with other teeth, proper dental care requires regular brushing and flossing, a nutritious diet and regular dental visits. A one year follow up at your endodontist is recommended to evaluate the success of your root canal treatment.