Post treatment care - Non-surgical
What should I expect following endodontic treatment?
The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, and the irritated tissue and bacteria that have caused you to need root canal treatment are gone.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also 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. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact your endodontist.
Guidelines for Post-Treatment Care
- Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact your endodontist.
- Contact your endodontist right away if you develop any of the following:
- a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth;
- an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction);
- a return of original symptoms; or
- your bite feels uneven.
Taking Care of Your Tooth
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
Contact your dentist as soon as possible to arrange your next appointment. If your tooth is being treated in more than one visit by an endodontist, do not return to your dentist for the final restoration until the root canal treatment is completed.
What the Future Holds
The tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as your other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.
Your dentist or endodontist may periodically x-ray the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred. Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or pain continues. At times, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, repeating the endodontic procedure can save the tooth.
Post-Op Instructions Surgical
What to expect after surgery:
- Slight oozing or bleeding is normal for 24 hrs
- Although severe pain seldom occurs, some discomfort will usually be present.
- There will be some swelling and discoloration for the next one week.
- This is a normal part of the healing process.
- There is often temporary loss of feeling in the surgical site.
- The treated tooth may feel loose for a brief time.
Home care instructions following Endodontic Surgery:
- Rest. Avoid strenuous activity for at least 48 hours.
- Take and complete any medications as prescribed by us.
- Do not lift or pull lip to examine surgical area. This may disrupt stitches which may increase irritation.
- Place ice pack on surgical area 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for approximately 6 hours. This will minimize swelling and discoloration. Do not use ice after the first day.
- Remove the gauze pack upon arriving home. If the bleeding continues after the first hour, remove the old gauze and place a new piece over the wound. Apply firm pressure for an additional 30-60 minutes. For excessive bleeding, you may place a wet tea bag (Lipton Black Tea) over the area for 45 minutes. Tea contains an ingredient that helps promote blood clotting. Assume a semi-upright bed position, using 2 pillows. Spitting and rinsing causes bleeding. Avoid this if at all possible.
- During the first 48 hours avoid foods that require vigorous chewing. Eat soft foods on the opposite side of surgical area and avoid hot foods and foods that will cause you to stretch your mouth for at least 1 week.
Do not brush or floss the surgical area for 1 week. However, meticulous oral hygiene should be continued in all other areas of the mouth.
After 24 hours begin rinsing with salt water (1 tsp. salt with 1 glass of warm water) after meals and as often as is practical to help remove debris, prevent a sour taste and make your mouth feel more comfortable. An anti-bacterial mouth rinse, Peridex (Chlorhexidine) may have been prescribed and this rinse should be used in addition to salt water use. The instructions are to soak for 30 seconds and then expectorate gently (spit). Do not swallow. This is done 2 times daily, after breakfast & before bedtime. Avoid drinking or rinsing for 30 minutes after using Peridex.
- Avoid straws and spitting for at least 48 hours.
- Do not smoke for 1 week after surgery. Smoking delays healing.
- Return to this office for suture removal as directed.
Contact your endodontist if you develop any of the following:
- You develop a fever.
- Your bleeding has not stopped or decreased after 24 hours.
- Have severe pain.
- Any concerns or questions.