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.

To read after care instructions for scaling and root planing click here. Read all of our other dental after care instructions by clicking here. 

Learn more when you visit Sunnyvale Dental Care Practice. Call Sunnyvale Dentist Dr. Antonious at 408-720-0900 to schedule a consultation today!