Home Care Instructions

Following a Root Canal Procedure

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during root canal treatment and the previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. Below are some home care instructions following your root canal procedure:

  1. The treated tooth is commonly VERY tender to touch, biting, tapping or chewing. DO NOT CHEW ON THAT SIDE. Discomfort usually subsides in a couple of days, but may last as long as a few months. Improvement will be gradual.
  2. Following your root canal procedure, your treating endodontist will typically place a temporary filling in the tooth. Temporary filling material may come loose or condense with pressure and chewing. We strongly recommend chewing on the other side until you can see your primary dentist for your final restoration.
  3. Do not chew hard, sticky or chewy foods until you see your primary dentist for a final restoration.
  4. The treated tooth, the injection sites, as well as the soft tissues around the tooth, will feel sore and tender. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water (one teaspoon salt to 8 oz. of warm water), three to four times a day may be helpful in relieving discomfort. If your tooth throbs, keep your head elevated, even when lying down. Refrain from any strenuous activity.
  5. We usually recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or aspirin for at least three to five days following treatment. If you cannot take any anti-inflammatory medication, then take extra-strength acetaminophen (Tylenol). If any of the recommended pain medications are not effective, you should call the office.
  6. Take all prescribed medication as directed.
  7. Ice or heat can help alleviate any discomfort in the jaw joints or muscles.
  8. If you initially feel better, but then get significantly worse two or three days later, you may be experiencing what is known as a “flare-up.” This is an uncommon occurrence but not unusual. If you believe you are experiencing a flare-up, please contact our office.
  9. There is usually no necessary “waiting period” for you to see your primary dentist, but we do want to make sure your symptoms have subsided before proceeding with the restoration.  Unless otherwise indicated, have the tooth restored within a week or two of your root canal treatment. Waiting can contribute to further weakening of the tooth and even tooth loss.
  10. In some cases, your treating endodontist will request a follow-up evaluation after the treatment. We want to evaluate the treatment outcome, be sure that you have regained normal function with the tooth, and determine the presence of bone healing.  You will be advised if a follow up is needed.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact our office at Aurora Endodontics Phone Number 303-617-6323