The purpose of a root canal is to remove infection from your tooth
and the surrounding jawbone. Depending on the tooth, endodontic treatment may be completed in one or multiple appointments. Once started, it is important to complete the root canal. After your root canal therapy has been completed, your tooth should start to feel better and you will start to feel relief of the pain you have been experiencing.
Avoid biting on the tooth for the next few days. It is normal for the tooth to be tender after a root canal, and healing occurs more quickly if you do not chew on it immediately. Avoid biting your lip, cheek, and tongue while anesthetized (numb) since this may cause damage to them.
If your tooth was in pain prior to starting the treatment, it will take one to two weeks for the tooth to feel normal. Give your new root canals time to heal. If your tooth was not in pain prior to beginning treatment (likely because the tooth was abscessed or had a deep cavity that had not begun to hurt yet), your tooth may be quite sore for a few days after the appointment. This will be alleviated with time; it may take as long as two weeks, and sometimes longer.
Should you have pain that you cannot tolerate, abnormal swelling, fever, or significant pain, please call our office. Dr. Bowen may prescribe additional medication or other steps to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or comparable medications usually help alleviate the discomfort. Take pain relievers before the anesthetic wears off and continue taking for a minimum of 2-4 days, as directed. Following this recommendation may substantially decrease your after treatment discomfort. We recommend taking an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen. Take 600mg (3 x 200mg) Ibuprofen four times per day for 2-4 days. Dr. Bowen may prescribe you a prescription for a narcotic medication, depending on your individual situation. If you are prescribed a narcotic, take it as prescribed, and do not combine it with Tylenol (it likely has tylenol in it).
Narcotic medications should never be taken in combination with alcohol, histamine blockers (antihistamines), tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, or any other agent that depresses the central nervous system. Narcotics increase the effects of these medications on the brain, and overdose can result from their combined use. Remember that you must NOT drive a car or engage in any type of activity requiring mental alertness while taking narcotic or sedative-type medications.
If you had swelling when you came to Canyon Dental, the area may be tender for up to two weeks while it heals. If the swelling does not improve after several days, or if it increases, please call our office.
In most cases, antibiotics are not required after a root canal, but Dr. Bowen may prescribe one if required by your situation.
Continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. Avoid biting or chewing on the tooth during the first few days. Avoid sticky foods like caramel or gum, as those types of food may cause your temporary crown to come off. If the temporary filling feels loose or completely falls out, please call our office.
With proper care, your root canal and crown restored tooth can last for many years. However, teeth treated with a root canal can still decay. As with other teeth, proper dental care requires regular brushing and flossing and dental visits.
When your root canal, Dr. Bowen will re-evaluate it at your regular checkup appointments. This allows us to make sure the tooth has is healing properly. Please call our office if your tooth feels unusual or discomfort persists for more than two weeks after completion.
Fortunately, most root canals heal with about a 85-95% success rate. Sometimes despite our best efforts, a small percentage of patients may need to have the root canal(s) retreated or will need root-end surgery (surgically clean the bone that surrounds the root tip and seal the tip of the root) to achieve adequate healing.