Postoperative Instructions for Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment
- Postoperative discomfort is sometimes experienced after root canal treatment. This is due to irritation of the bone surrounding the tooth and may range from mild discomfort in the area to an occasional episode of considerable pain. This discomfort will usually maximize in approximately 48-72 hours and then subside. Please avoid chewing on the treated tooth for a few days.
- If a throbbing sensation occurs please keep your head elevated as much as possible and place extra pillows under your head when lying down. Avoid strenuous activity as much as possible.
- If swelling of the gum is present or should appear after a treatment visit, please rinse the area every 1-2 hours with a solution of warm salt water prepared by adding a teaspoon of salt to an 8 oz. glass of warm water.
- If swelling of the face is present or should appear, apply an ice pack to the area for 5 minutes every 1/2-hour.
- If antibiotic medication has been prescribed please take it as indicated until you have finished ALL of the medication. If you encounter any difficulty in breathing or a skin rash, or gastric disturbance should occur, please discontinue the medication and call the dental office.
Discomfort from root canal treatment is normally due to inflammation around the tooth. The best treatment for this inflammation is Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) therapy. In order to be most effective Ibuprofen should be taken in the following manner:
- 400mg should be taken immediately following the procedure.
- 400mg should be taken every 6 hours for the next two days (48 hours). Ibuprofen should be taken with food. A good rule of thumb is to take Ibuprofen tablet with breakfast, lunch, dinner and before going to bed.
- After two days you can continue to take ibuprofen if you are still having discomfort.
- If you having pain that the ibuprofen is not able to relieve or if you have pain that is keeping you awake at night please call our office.
- A temporary filling was placed in your tooth after the procedure. Often the top layer of this temporary will wear away and give you the feeling that the filling has fallen out. If the temporary can still be seen then the filling has not fallen out. If you cannot see the filling and you feel that it has fallen out please call our office.
- It is very important to make your follow up appointments after your root canal treatment. There is often little tooth structure left after a root canal and the tooth is prone to fracturing. A permanent restoration (often a crown) is necessary to resist fracture and gives you the best possible result.
If any additional questions should arise after your visit, please do not hesitate to call our office.