Self-Care for Better Results
We take care of you before and during treatment… now it is your turn to take care of yourself. Please be nice to your smile and follow these instructions carefully. And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to call us. Your care doesn’t end when you walk out the door.
After root canal treatment has been completed, your level of discomfort depends on patient follow through with after-treatment care instructions. Although some patients experience no pain, some discomfort is normal. Reduction of inflammation will, in turn, reduce pain.
We recommend to take anti-inflammatory medication (Advil, ibuprofen or Motrin) before the anesthetic wears off. Take 600-800mg for the first 2-3 days every 6 hours. If you are allergic to ibuprofen or physician-prescribed medications prohibits taking NSAIDS, substitute with two 500mg Tylenol tablets every 8 hours.
VIEW THE DETAILED POST-INSTRUCTIONS:
- CHEWING: Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until it has been restored by your dentist. On the day of treatment, limit your diet to foods that require no or little chewing, soft foods, nutrition shakes, etc. Sensitivity to pressure and soreness to biting pressure is frequently encountered and often described as a “bruise.” The bruised sensation peaks 48-72 hours after treatment and gradually subsides over the next 5-7 days. Thus, normal recovery from treatment takes 7-10 days. In some instances the recovery time may be several weeks.
- HYGIENE: Continue to brush and floss in order for the tissue around the tooth to stay healthy. The tissue around the tooth will be sensitive, be “gentle” when performing normal routine hygiene. Rinse the tooth and gum area with warm saltwater (1/4 teaspoon salt per 8 ounces of water) in order to cleanse the oral cavity and accelerate healing. DO NOT APPLY HEAT COMPRESS to the outside of your face under any circumstances. This will increase blood flow and lead to potential swelling and spread of infection.
- ANTIBIOTICS: If prescribed, take as directed until all medication has been taken. If you have any reactions, discontinue immediately and notify the office and doctor.
- PAIN MEDICATION: If prescribed, take as needed and as directed. If any adverse reactions occur, discontinue and notify the office and doctor. Avoid alcohol, driving, and operating heavy machinery while taking the pain medication.
- BIRTH CONTROL PILLS: Be aware that antibiotics inhibit the effectiveness of birth control pills, so additional preventative measures should be taken until the next menstrual cycle is complete.
- PERMANENT RESTORATION: Please contact and schedule an appointment with your dentist to place a final restoration 2 weeks following the completed root canal treatment. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture and leakage which may lead to loss of tooth. Delay in placement of permanent restoration after your root canal may compromise the success of your root canal and may necessitate additional treatment at an additional cost.
- CROWN: After your root canal treatment, we recommend a crown be placed by your dentist. The crown functions to surround and protect the “shell” of remaining tooth structure and to help prevent the tooth from cracking and breaking. It restores the tooth to its natural structure, appearance, and function. In some instances an access filling may suffice. Your dentist will determine the best treatment for your circumstance.