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What Should I Expect Following Non-Surgical Endodontic Treatment?
The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, and the irritated tissue and bacteria that have caused you to need root canal treatment are gone.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Remember that narcotic mediations, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, please contact our office.
Guidelines for Post-Treatment Care
Taking Care of Your Tooth
- Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, please contact our office.
- Contact our office immediately if you develop any of the following
- a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth
- an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction)
- a return of original symptoms or
- your bite feels high or uneven
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
Contact your dentist within two weeks to arrange your next appointment. If your tooth is being treated in more than one visit, do not return to your dentist for the final restoration until the root canal is completed.
What Should I Expect Following Surgical Endodontic Treatment?
Discomfort: When the anesthesia wears off, many patients are comfortable and do not require any medication for pain. However, you may experience discomfort for a few days, up to a week, in which case you may two extra strength acetaminophen tablets (Tylenol) or two Ibuprofen tablets (Advil) as often as every 4 hours as needed. If the pain continues to be sever, and we have not prescribe you a pain medication, please give us a call and we may prescribe a stronger medication to be used instead of, or in addition to these. Take the stronger medication as directed. If you take the stronger medication do not drive or operate machinery and do not drink alcoholic beverages.
Swelling: Swelling and discoloration (bruising) of the cheek the next day is not uncommon and will resolve in 3 to 5 days. Icing the area will help minimize the swelling. Place an ice pack over the surgical area for the rest of the day until you go to bed. The recommended interval is 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off.
Bleeding: Some blood will be evident in the saliva following the procedure. Although this is normal, excessive bleeding should be reported immediately.
Rinsing: Avoid rinsing for the remainder of the day. Prior to going to bed, gently rinse with warm salt water (half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Continue the warm salt-water rinse after every meal.
Eating: With the exception of (a) steaming hot foods and (b) crunchy and crusty foods (e.g. celery, popcorn, or toast); there are no food restrictions. Attempt to do most of your chewing on the opposite side of the mouth.
Brushing: Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush avoiding the surgical area. If you wish, you may gently wipe the surgical area with a wet cotton swab after 48 hours.
Antibiotics: If antibiotics have been prescribed, please take them according to direction until they are used up.
NOTE: If you experience rashes, nausea, vomiting, excessive swelling, difficulty swallowing or anything that may trouble you, please call our office immediately.
What the Future Holds
The tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as your other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.
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