After Surgical Treatment

1)  If prescriptions have been given to you, be sure to take them according to the instructions.  Usually Extra Strength Tylenol is sufficient for pain.

2)  To reduce post-operative swelling, keep ice on the area for the next 4 to 6 hours.  The ice should be applied to the outside cheek, or lip area and be applied for 20 minutes then removed for 10 minutes then repeated.  Continue this for the next 4 to 6 hours.  The most noticeable swelling will be 2 to 3 days following the procedure and then will gradually subside.

3)  Keep your head elevated for the next 6 to 12 hours.  This will help reduce the swelling by allowing drainage of the fluids down the lymph nodes.

4)  Take it easy today!  This will keep your blood pressure from increasing which could cause excessive bleeding, in some instances.

5)  Do Not rinse the surgical area today, as you may disrupt clot formation.  Starting tomorrow, a salt water rinse (1/2 cup of warm water, 1/4 tsp. of salt) should be used to gently rinse the area a few times per day (especially after eating) to keep the surgical site and sutures free of debris.  It is OK to brush your teeth, but be very gentle in the treated area.

6)  Do Not smoke, Do Not drink through a straw and Do Not drink alcoholic beverages for 48 hours. All of these could dislodge the blood clot formation and impede healing.

7)  Do Not eat crusty foods (pretzels, crackers, potato chips, toast, etc.) or extremely hot or cold foods.  These could result in dislodgement of the incision and affect healing.

8)  Do Not worry if the site bleeds slightly.  This is a normal occurrence just like when you have a tooth extracted.  If bleeding is steady, place a gauze and hold firmly for 10 minutes – no peaking, or you should start over!

9)  Do Not raise your lip to look at the incision area as this might loosen the stitches.

10)  Keep up your nutrition so healing will occur as expected.  Nutrients from a good diet will help you heal.

11)  If complications occur, please call us.

12)  Please call us tomorrow to report your progress.


Are There Any Potential Problems After surgical Treatment?

  • Lower teeth and nerve injury. There is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur during root canal surgery to the lower posterior teeth. Your endodontist is trained to assess this possibility prior to treatment and will advise you accordingly. For lower posterior teeth, the root tips may be near a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin and gums. Your endodontist is trained to design your surgery to minimize the chances of damaging this nerve. Rarely, this nerve can become irritated during the process of surgery. In these cases, when the local anesthesia wears off, you may experience tingling, altered sensation or, in rare cases a complete lack of feeling in the affected tissues. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve over a period of days, weeks or months. In rare cases, these changes can be permanent and/or painful.
  • Upper teeth and sinus communication. The upper teeth are situated near your sinuses, and root canal surgery can result in a communication between your mouth and the adjacent sinus. Should this complication occur, it will usually heal spontaneously. We will give you special instructions if this is apparent at the time of surgery. We prefer that you don’t blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. You should not create any pressure in the sinus area. If you sense a complication after surgery, please contact us.