Ellis General Dentistry

Dennis W. Ellis, DDS, PA

What is the aftercare following endodontic (root canal) therapy?

What To Expect

1. It is not uncommon for a tooth to be uncomfortable or even exhibit a dull ache immediately after receiving root canal therapy.  This should subside within one week.

2.   Your tooth will be sensitive to biting pressure and may even appear to be loose.  This feeling is a result of the sensitivity of nerve endings in the tissue just outside the end of the root, where we cleaned, irrigated and placed filler and sealer material.  This feeling will be short-lived

3. You may feel a depression or rough area (on the top of a back tooth, or the back of a front tooth) where our access was made.  There is a soft, temporary material in that area, which may wear away to some degree before your next visit.

4. Occasionally, a small “bubble” or “pimple” will appear on the gum tissue within a few days after completion of a root canal.  This represents the release of pressure and bacteria which no longer can be sustained around the tooth.  This should disappear within a few days.

 What To Do

 1.   We recommend you take something for pain-relief within one hour of leaving the office, to get the medication into your blood system before the anesthesia we administered begins to subside.  Generally, only one dose is needed.  We recommend ibuprofen (Nuprin, Advil, Motrin) – 600-800 mg (three or four tablets).  If you have a medical condition or gastrointestinal disorder which precludes ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) is a substitute, although it does not contain anti-inflammatory properties. 

2.   Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth we have just treated, until you have a crown or onlay placed, or until the access area is restored.  Until that time, your tooth still is weakened and could fracture.

3.   Please avoid chewing gum, caramels, other sticky, soft candy, which could dislodge the temporary material or fracture your tooth.

Please Call Us If …

1. You are experiencing symptoms more intense or of longer duration than those described above.

2. You encounter significant post-operative swelling.

3. The temporary material is dislodged, feels loose, or feels “high” when biting.

4. Your tooth fractures.

5. You have any questions.

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