1. It is not uncommon for a tooth to be uncomfortable or even to experience pain immediately after receiving root canal treatment. This should subside within 7-10 days.
2. Your tooth will be sensitive to biting pressure and may even appear to feel loose. This feeling is a result of the sensitivity of nerve endings, and bruised ligaments in the tissue just outside the end of the root.
3. You may feel a depression or rough area (on top of a back tooth or the back of a front tooth) where the entry to the canal was made. There is a soft, temporary material in that area, which may wear off to some degree before your next visit.
4. Occasionally the treated area may become slightly swollen; this is a result of inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medication is helpful in reducing this temporary healing process.
5. The removal of the pulp of the tooth will prevent sensitivity to hot, cold and sweet. This does NOT protect the tooth against future cavities.
A. Take something for pain relief within one hour of leaving the office; this should be done before the anesthesia begins to wear off. Generally 1-2 doses are needed. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 3-4 tablets at 200mg, every 6-8 hours as recommended. If you cannot take ibuprofen because of a medical condition or stomach disorder, acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken instead, although it does not contain anti-inflammatory properties. 600 mg Ibuprofen, Advil or Aleve every 6-8 hours is also recommended.
B. Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth that was treated, or until the tooth has a final restoration. Your tooth is weakened and could fracture if a permanent restoration is not placed as soon as possible.
C. Please avoid chewing gun, caramels, popcorn, or other sticky or soft candy, which could dislodge the temporary material or fracture your tooth.
D. Sometimes antibiotics and painkillers are prescribed to help control infection and pain. Please take all medication as directed.
E. Call your dentist today to schedule an appointment for permanent restoration. Reconstruction of the tooth is your dentist’s responsibility and if you delay reconstruction of the tooth it can result in contamination of the root canal filling, fracture and loss of the tooth. This can happen in as little as a few weeks. DO NOT WAIT. Our doctor cannot be responsible in cases where excessive delay in reconstruction has occurred.
Most patients do well after starting root canal therapy.
For the first 1-3 days, it is recommended to take some medication for post-operative pain. The following is a recommended plan catered to help you with the amount of pain that you may or may not have after the anesthesia goes away.
1. Please take 600 mg Ibuprofen (Advil or Aleve) every 6-8 hours with food for 1-3 days. Most patients will do fine with just this medication. You can take up to 800 mg of Ibuprofen at a time but do NOT exceed 3,200 mg in a 24 hour period.
2. If #1 is not controlling the pain, please add in Tylenol (Extra Strength). Take 2 pills (or 1,000 mg) of Tylenol and alternate with the Ibuprofen as described for #1 every 3-4 hours.
3. If #2 is not controlling the pain, please call our office. We may need to perform a procedure to help relieve your symptoms. However, we want to try and help you before you come in. Therefore, please start taking 1 Norco pill with 1 Tylenol pill instead of as described in #2. We would still like for you to take the Ibuprofen as described in #1. Please alternate the Ibuprofen every 3-4 hours with 1 Norco and 1 Tylenol (500 mg Extra Strength) instead of 2 Tylenol, as Norco has some Tylenol combined with Hydrocodone.
Antibiotics are not usually needed following root canal therapy. Please do take the prescribed antibiotic, if the doctor advises you to take it or if certain symptoms develop. If swelling occurs, fever, lymph nodes become swollen, or a general sick feeling occurs, it is strongly advised to take the prescribed antibiotic.
1. If pain medications have been prescribed, follow the instructions on the prescription. Do NOT substitute other pain medication. If the medication makes you ill, please notify me.
2. If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, you must finish ALL of the pills as directed on the prescription label. If an allergic reaction (itching, rash, or hives) develop, stop taking the medication and notify me immediately.
3. If you are taking oral contraceptives, there is some evidence that antibiotics can cause oral contraceptives to be ineffective, so using an alternate form of protection is necessary.
4. Your sutures are attached to your gums under the lips/cheek. Do NOT lift your lip (or pull out your cheek) to look at the area, as this may tear the sutures.
5. Slight discomfort, swelling and bruising can be expected and are normal following surgery. If you experience nausea, fever, severe pain and/or swelling, notify me immediately.
6. Brush your teeth as you normally would, except for the surgical area. Place the 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex) on the surgical area with a cotton swab.
1. Mild bleeding is common during the first 24 hours, especially during the first night. If this occurs, apply mild pressure with your fingers on a damp piece of gauze for 5 minutes.
2. Apply an ice pack on the outside of your face, over the surgical area, for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off until you go to bed. Do NOT use an ice pack after today.