After Endodontic Treatment
1. What can I expect?
It is normal to be sore 2-3 days following root canal treatment. However, it may take several weeks before the tenderness resolves. This is due to a healing response at the root ends and the injection sites and should lessen with time. Occasionally it can take several months before the tooth feels “normal.” However, it is not uncommon for a root canal treated tooth to always feel different than a non-root canal treated tooth.
IF YOU HAVE ANY VISIBLE SWELLING CALL OUR OFFICE.
DO NOT APPLY ANY HEAT TO THE AFFECTED AREA.
2. Do I need a crown?
All posterior (back) teeth that receive endodontic treatment need a crown. This needs to be done within 1 month. It is essential to follow-up with your general dentist on this. If this is not done, the tooth will fracture which can result in the loss of your tooth.
3. What can I take for pain?
The soreness is best managed with over-the-counter medications. We recommend that you take analgesic medications before the anesthesia wears off. You may need to continue to take pain relievers for 2-3 days.
Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) 200mg tabs: Take 2-4 tablets every 6 hours (400-800mg). Do not exceed 3200 mg/day.
Please note some medications (i.e. blood pressure/diabetic) and medical conditions (i.e. stomach ulcers, chronic kidney disease, and Hx of TIA or stroke) discourage NSAID usage. If you are unable to take NSAIDS, we recommend acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 300mg tabs: Take 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours (300-650mg). Do not exceed 3000 mg/day. Do not drink alcohol when taking acetaminophen or medications containing acetaminophen.
***For maximum effectiveness, try blending ibuprofen and acetaminophen together. You can take 2-3 ibuprofen plus 1-2 acetaminophen tabs every 6 hours. If this does not provide adequate pain relief, please call our office.
4. Do I need to be on antibiotics?
Not all teeth or patients require antibiotics. This is discussed on an individual basis and are rarely indicated. Antibiotics cannot prevent post-op pain or swelling. However, if you are given a prescription related to this treatment, take them as instructed. Alert! Ladies, if you are using oral contraceptives, antibiotics can interfere with its effectiveness. Use a back-up method until you start your next package.
5. What about eating?
Do not use the tooth to bite down on anything (hard or soft) until a crown has been placed. This is very important! The tooth is prone to fracture and you may crack the tooth if you chew on it. If the tooth does not require a crown or already has one, please avoid chewing on that side while it is sore. Be careful while you are still numb when eating. You may bite your tongue or lip.
You may brush and floss your tooth as normal.
7. What if I feel like my tooth is too tall?
If you feel like you are hitting that tooth hard (it feels high), it can be quite painful. Please contact our office immediately. We can adjust your bite which can provide relief.
8. If a temporary filling was placed, it may wear and create a “divot” on the biting surface.
It is very rare for it to fall out entirely. However, if it does, please contact us or your general dentist as soon as possible. It is important to protect the tooth from becoming contaminated and re-infected. Also, avoid “sticky” foods which can remove the temporary filling. The temporary filling will break down over a 2-3 week period. It is critical that you see your dentist as soon as possible to have a permanent restoration placed.
9. What is a flare-up?
Although 90-95% of root canal treatments result in little to moderate levels of discomfort, there are a small percentage which can cause significant pain and sometimes swelling. These are commonly referred to as “flare-ups.” If you are experiencing severe pain or swelling please contact us immediately so we may address this. Swelling can progress into a severe event if left untreated. Typically, an antibiotic will be prescribed. However, you may require further treatment in office.
10. Recall visits are important.
You may have the tooth examined complementary about 1 year after treatment. Although root canal treatment is highly successful, a small percentage do not respond to treatment.
Please contact our office during normal business hours or Dr. Triska’s cell after hours if needed. If you require after hours assistance please call as soon as you become aware of any concerns.
Office: Beaumont Office Phone Number 409-866-4600 Cell: 832-971-4528