Instructions Following Root Canal Treatment or Re-treatment

Normal Post-Treatment Response

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After treatment it is possible to experience some discomfort (soreness) on the tooth that was treated. The intensity and duration depend on your body’s inflammatory response to the treatment. Many patients experience no pain or symptoms, but the majority of patients experience mild-to-moderate bite pain (like a bruise under the tooth) that usually lasts only 2-3 days. A small percentage of patients can experience more intense pain such as a sharp pain in the jaw when the treated tooth contacts another tooth or while chewing food. These more intense symptoms may take closer to a week to subside completely. If you are having this kind of pain and the anti-inflammatory you are taking is not giving relief please call our office for further instructions.

Call our office if you experience the following as other medications may be needed:

  1. Severe swelling
  2. Moderate to severe throbbing or aching pain, especially if this begins 2-4 days after treatment.
  3. If swelling is occurring, we recommend a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling and pain. Antibiotics (or additional antibiotics) may be needed.

Our office HIGHLY recommends taking one of the following for the next 3 days following treatment:

  1. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin): 3-4 tablets (600 – 800mg) every 6 – 8 hours for three days. (Max = 16/day)
  2. Aleve (Naproxen sodium): 1 – 2 tablets (220mg each) every 12 hours. (Max = 4/day)
  3. Aspirin: 2 tablets (325mg x 2 = 650mg) every 6 – 8 hours. (Max = 12/day)
  4. Tylenol (Acetaminophen): Extra strength = 500mg. Take 2 extra strength Tylenol 4 x day.

Our office recommends avoiding chewing on the treated tooth.

  1. Chewing on the treated tooth soon after treatment will increase sensitivity or tenderness of the tooth and pro-long the time healing time.
  2. Increases the risk of breaking the tooth if the tooth needs a crown.

Avoid foods that require excessive chewing and avoid hard foods for at least 3 days after treatment:

  1. Some teeth may require more time to heal (up to a week in some cases).
  2. If it has been over a week since you have had treatment, and you still cannot put any pressure on the tooth, please call our office.

If a temporary filling has been placed:

  1. Make arrangements to see your general dentist within 2 – 6 weeks for the permanent restoration of your tooth.
  2. A Crown or Bridge is usually recommended after Endodontic treatment to protect the tooth from fractures.
    These fractures could result in loss of the recently treated tooth
  3. After root canal treatment your tooth is at its weakest so take special care to avoid using the tooth until you can see your dentist.