Patient Library

Root Canal Therapy

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • 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.
  • Your tooth will be sensitive to pressure and may even appear to feel loose. This feeling is a result of the sensitivity of nerve endings in the tissue just outside the end of the root that were cleaned, irrigated and filled with a sealer and filling material. These symptoms will be short-lived.
  • 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 by your next visit.
  • Root canal therapy is an attempt to seal the root end of the tooth. Placement of a permanent crown or filling after a root canal is completed is essential to seal the upper portion of the tooth. Failure to immediately do so will result in a failed root canal treatment.
  • 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.
  • Sometimes, a root canal treated tooth does not heal and may require an additional procedure termed an apicoectomy. An apicoectomy involves removing a small portion of the end of the root and its surrounding tissues and placing a filing on the end of the root.

WHAT TO DO

  • We recommend that you take something for pain relief within one hour of leaving our office so the medication can get into your blood system before the anesthesia we administered begins to subside. We recommend 600 mg of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, etc) taken every six hours. If you have a medical condition or gastrointestinal disorder that precludes ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) is a substitute, although it does not contain anti-inflammatory properties. Aspirin and aspirin-containing products are NOT advisable, as they tend to increase bleeding from the area that was treated.
  • Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth we have just treated, until a crown or permanent restoration has been placed. Until that time, your tooth is weakened and fracture is possible.
  • Avoid chewing gum, caramels, or other sticky, soft candy which could dislodge the temporary material or fracture your tooth.

PLEASE CALL US IF

  • You are experiencing symptoms more intense or of longer duration than those described above.
  • You encounter significant post-operative swelling.
  • The temporary material is dislodged, feels loose, or feels “high” when biting.
  • Your tooth fractures.

Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.