After Completion of Endodontic Treatment

what you might feel

We usually will suggest you take 2 Advil before you leave our office (if you can take this medication) and most of the time this is all you will need.  You can take more later, as needed.  Dr. Marshall will give you instructions specific to your situation and other prescriptions (such as pain medication and antibiotics), if he thinks that is prudent.  

Do not eat anything or drink hot beverages until the numbness in your mouth wears off.  This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue, or burning yourself.  If you are hungry you could have a milk shake, soup (as long as it is not hot), or similar foods.

It is normal to have some discomfort following treatment, especially in the first 24 hours and your may 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.  Biting discomfort is to be expected.  Please avoid chewing on the treated tooth, as it will get better faster and decrease the chance you could damage it before your dentist has the opportunity to restore it.  Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed, but should eventually feel normal.

Advil (Ibuprofen) is usually the best medication for post-operative discomfort, as it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.  If you can not take anti-inflammatory medications, Tylenol would be the next choice.  If you require narcotic medications, remember they may make you drowsy and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.

Do not drink alcohol when taking your medications, as it will sometimes cause them to be ineffective.

What you need to do after treatment

Although the internal root canal system has been permanently sealed, the outer surface of your tooth is sealed with a temporary restoration.   We will usually ask you to call us after 2 weeks, if you still have any symptoms.  If all is well, you should call your dentist and schedule a follow-up restoration to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please telephone your restorative dentist for an appointment after 2 to 3 weeks, so you won’t forget.   A complete report of treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist.

Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment.  You should chew on the other side until your restorative dentist has placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown.  If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, your dentist may place a post for retention of the restoration.  You can be confident your dentist will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth. 

A proper final restoration of your tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.  Contact your dentist within 2 to 3 weeks to arrange your next appointment.

After the tooth has been restored, it can still develop decay and periodontal problems, so you need to practice good oral hygiene, including flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.

recall examinations

Sometimes, depending on the problem your tooth had, we might recommend a follow-up examination to evaluate the progress of healing. This appointment might be several weeks or several months after your treatment and will require only a few minutes and no additional fee will be charged for the first check-up visit. Please follow through with this recall appointment, if it has been recommended, as it can be crucial to see if your problem is healing properly.