As with many dental procedures, you may have some discomfort afterwards – root canal therapy is no different. Any soreness experienced is dependent on the level of inflammation and/or the extent of infection present prior to treatment. On occasion, patients with slight or no symptoms may notice increased discomfort after treatment – this is normal.
Ibuprofen 600mg is recommended every 6 hours for at least the next 3 days. This will help keep inflammation and pain to a minimum. Occasionally, some slight swelling may occur. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be used in addition to ibuprofen; please follow the directions on the label. Additionally, the use of an ice pack on the outside of the jaw for 20 minutes on – 20 minutes off can help decrease pain and reduce swelling.
If you were prescribed an antibiotic, it is imperative that you take it until gone, even if all symptoms or signs of infection have resolved. For any prescribed pain medication, please follow the recommended dosage. If an allergic reaction occurs, discontinue use of the medication and contact our office immediately.
After root canal therapy is complete, it is recommended that you chew only on the opposite side until your tooth is properly restored by your general dentist. Keep in mind that your tooth may be tender to pressure or biting for up to 2 weeks, and that clenching, grinding, or biting on your temporary filling can prolong the healing process. On rare occasions, it may take several months for complete healing to occur. For these instances, a gradual decrease in symptoms is expected.
Contact our office if your symptoms have stayed the same or worsened, without signs of resolution after 2 weeks. Please note that every treatment case is different, even for the same patient, and that past dental endodontic procedures are not a predictor of future outcomes.
It is recommended that you contact your general dentist immediately after treatment is completed to schedule your appointment(s) for your final restoration. Having the permanent filling or crown placed in 1-4 weeks is ideal, so long as there are no significant complications to the root canal therapy. While the timing for placement of the permanent restoration is only a recommendation, significantly delaying treatment may result in a reinfection of the tooth or a fracture that may lead to removal. Any additional treatment needs may not be covered by your insurance.