Home Care Instructions
Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. Do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is covered with a protective restoration provided by your restorative/general dentist. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen.
NOTE: Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the below listed medications, or should swelling develop, please contact our office.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or swelling, contact our office.
Guidelines For Post-Treatment Care
- Do not eat anything or drink hot beverages until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off between appointments. However, if you believe the entire filling has come out, contact our office.
Contact our office right away if you develop any of the following:
golf-ball sized swelling inside or outside of your mouth;
an allergic reaction to medication, normally indicated by rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction);
a return of original symptoms; or
your bite feels uneven.
Post-Operative Pain Management
Not all patients experience pain after root canal treatment. Not all patients experience the same pain pre and post root canal treatment. Even the same patient requiring a root canal treatment on another tooth may experience different symptoms or level of pain, if any. However, pain after root canal treatment is normal and could last 7-10 days. If you are experiencing pain after root canal treatment, the following is recommend:
- If you are able to take ibuprofen (i.e. Advil or Motrin), take 600 mg (equaling three over-the-counter tablets) every six hours.
- If pain occurs before the next scheduled dose of ibuprofen, add prescription pain medication after the third hour of your dose of ibuprofen. It is recommended to alternate your ibuprofen and prescription medication rather than take it simultaneously. Repeat this regimen for the first 2-3 days, then as often as necessary. A sample schedule is as follows:
12:00 PM take 600 mg of ibuprofen.
3:00 PM take one tablet of prescription pain medication.
6:00 PM take 600 mg of ibuprofen.
9:00 PM take one tablet of prescription pain medication.
If you call our office after hours with an endodontic emergency and you have been seen as a patient by one of our endodontists, a telephone number of the individual on-call for emergencies will be provided in our voice mail message. Before calling, please have your pharmacy telephone number available.
If you have any questions, please call our office at 215-735-1131