Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy can take 1-2 appointments to complete. Please read the following instructions carefully for proper post operative care after root canal treatment.

Numbness: Your mouth will be numb approximately two to four hours. Do not bite, scratch, or injure the cheek, lips, or tongue during this time. You can carefully drink little sips of water during this time but avoid eating. Please call our office if your numbness has persisted more than a day.

Pain: While the goal of root canal treatment is to relieve your pain and in most cases the pain will be relieved almost immediately, some pain from the root canal tooth is expected which is especially true if you had a symptomatic infection in the tooth before treatment. There may be some tenderness on chewing as well. However, if painful, usually you should see improvement within 24-48 hours and should gradually improve over next few days. In most cases, Over-the-Counter pain medication will suffice. Prescription medication including Antibiotics may be prescribed and should be taken as directed. Occasionally the pain may last up to 2 week or more but you should still see improvement every day. If your symptoms have not improved at all after a week, please call our office immediately. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Some mild face swelling adjacent to the tooth may occasionally happen and should subside in 48-72 hours.

Gum Soreness: Tenderness/Soreness in the gums where shots were injected or around the tooth that got the root canal where the rubber dam clamp was placed, is expected and can last for a few days. You can take some over the counter pain medicine as needed. However in most cases, the soreness is mild. If your symptoms persist more than a week, please call us immediately.

Temporary Filling/ Temporary Crown: Following treatment, a temporary or a permanent filling or a crown will be placed in your tooth. Your tooth will likely be shaved down to reduce biting pressure from the tooth so there is less risk of breakage. Between appointments, it’s common (and not a problem) for a small portion of your temporary filling or crown to wear away or break off. If the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, please call our office so it can be replaced. To protect the tooth and help keep your temporary in place: Avoid chewing sticky foods (especially gum). Avoid biting hard foods and hard substances, such as ice, fingernails and pencils. If possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth.

Final Crown: Usually, the last step after root canal treatment is the placement of a crown on the tooth. A crown covers and protects the tooth from breaking in the future. Unless otherwise noted by the dentist, it is critical to have a crown placed on your root canal therapy treated tooth as soon as possible. Delay in obtaining final restoration (crown) may result in fracture and/or possible loss of the tooth.

If your bite feels uneven, you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call our dental office.

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