Post-Operative Instructions Following Root Canal Treatment

Post Operative Guidelines

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After Your Appointment:

  • You may experience some tenderness in your jaw as well as the tooth due to the length of root canal appointments. Tenderness and sensitivity should subside after a few days, but you may need some over-the-counter pain medications until then.
  • Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for up to one year after your root canal treatment has been completed. This is the time required for the tooth, gums and bone to heal completely around the infected tooth. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact your dentist.
  • Take your prescribed medication as directed. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
  • If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, do not bite hard for one hour after your appointment. It is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. While the temporary is in, chew carefully on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Brush and floss gently for the first couple of days, and then resume normal brushing and flossing.
  • Do not eat anything or drink anything too hot until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting or burning your cheek or tongue.

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

  • a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth
  • an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction)
  • a return of original symptoms
  • the temporary filling falls out
  • your bite feels uneven

Future Treatments:
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success. In most cases, the ideal restoration is a crown or onlay. Crowns and onlays reduce the chances of vertical fractures in brittle teeth.

The tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as your other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.

Your dentist may periodically x-ray the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred. Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or pain continues. At times, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. If this happens, Dr Sajan may refer you to an endodontist for secondary treatment to save the tooth.