To save a tooth that has pain or infection…

(root canal treatment)

A root canal is a procedure done to save a tooth that has pain and /or infection by removing the diseased pulp (nerve and blood vessels). The canal is filled with a rubber-like material to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth is then permanently sealed with a filling, possibly a post and crown when necessary.

Instruction and care of your tooth after root canal (endodontic) therapy

As a result of the infection present in all teeth requiring endodontic therapy and the manipulation during the appointment, your tooth and surrounding gum tissues may be highly irritated and uncomfortable for several days and may take as long as a month to heal. At times the discomfort may worsen a few days after your appointment. In the absence of facial swelling, this discomfort is normal and is no cause for concern.

Pain to biting or chewing on your treated tooth for up to several weeks could be expected – try to avoid biting or chewing in this area until comfortable. If painful to biting without food present, or if spontaneously very painful or worsening, please contact us as soon as possible.

Do not eat until the local anesthetic has worn off. Do not chew food on the affected side until your root canal therapy has been completed and your tooth is covered with a protective restoration. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. Be sure to take any antibiotic medication prescribed for you as it will help the area to heal.

Discomfort may be alleviated by taking pain medication as directed (see below). Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with medications prescribed or should swelling develop, please contact our office immediately.

Endodontic treatment has been completed when the root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A permanent restoration must be placed within one month to prevent reinfection. To protect your tooth against fracture, a crown is usually required in most cases. Both the filling and crown are separate treatments from the root canal therapy.

For the relief of any discomfort, we recommend:

Take 3 Advil (600 mg Ibuprofen) every 4-6 hours as needed.

For more relief:

Add 2 Tylenol (Regular or Extra Strength) in between the Advil doses ( that is, take 2 Tylenol followed 2 hours later by 3 Advil followed 2 hours later by 2 Tylenol followed 2 hours later by 3 Advil….)

If unable to take Advil or Aspirin products, take 2 Tylenol (regular or extra strength) every 4-6 hours.