Root Canal Post-Operative Instructions

The root canal spaces inside your tooth have been cleaned, medicated and filled. The tooth opening through which endodontic treatment was done has been sealed with a temporary cement filling.

It is likely that your tooth and jaw will be sore for as little as one day to as much as a couple of weeks. This is due to the prior condition of the tooth and the procedures done at today’s visit. This is a normal situation. There are three things that you can do to possibly alleviate discomfort.

  • Take 3 or 4 Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen (these amounts are equal to the prescription amounts) or two extra strength Aspirin or Tylenol every 3-4 hours to keep this post-treatment inflammation under control. Even if you are taking an antibiotic (Penicillin, Erythromycin, Clindamycin or others), continue pain medication until the tooth and surrounding areas are comfortable.
  • You might find that warm salt water mouth soaks will alleviate the soreness. Use one teaspoonful of table salt in a glass of warm water. Hold a mouthful near the tooth for one-half minute. Repeat until the glass is finished. This might be used once per hour.
  • Avoid chewing on the treated side, if possible. If pressure persists, and you are biting high on the tooth, contact us so we can adjust the bite.

Usually a tooth that requires root canal treatment has had a past history of decay, large fillings or trauma. It is often necessary for this type of tooth to receive additional protection in the form of a crown. Until you have that done, it’s wise to be careful biting or using the treated tooth so that you do not fracture it. Delay in obtaining a final permanent restoration of the tooth could result in root canal failure, fracture and loss of the tooth.

In approximately six months we would like you to have an x-ray film taken of this tooth so the progress of healing of your tooth can be evaluated. This is important since a small percentage of such teeth will not heal without further care.

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