You’re done, at last. Your endodontic treatment (root canal) is now complete. The canals inside the roots have been cleaned, irrigated, medicated and permanently sealed. The opening in the tooth through which root canal treatment was done has been sealed with a filling.
Avoid eating on the side of your mouth that has been worked on while this area is still numb. Place an ice pack over area where the procedure was done for 30 minutes when you first get home to minimize swelling. Apply the ice pack (or use frozen vegetables like peas) every hour for 10 to 15 minutes during the first 4 tp 6 minutes.
Take a pain-reliever within an hour of leaving the surgeon’s office, to get the medication into your blood system before the anesthesia begins to subside. Generally, only one dose is needed. Some doctors recommend ibuprofen (Nuprin, Advil, Motrin)-800 mg (four tablets). Two to four tables may be taken four times a day for the next 3 to 4 days will help control sensitivity. (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, Aspirin and aspirin-containing products are NOT advisable, as they tend to increase bleeding from the area that was treated.)
Take prescribed medication (antibiotics and /or pain medication) as directed. If you are given PenicillinVK take 2 pills every 4 hours for 48 to 72 hours, then complete prescription taking 1 pill very 6 hours. Take the full course of antibiotic medication. If you were given a prescription for pain, it is meant to help you with more serious discomfort only for a couple of days.
Sleep with your head in an elevated position for the first few nights if you do not have any physical limitations. Eat a soft diet for at least two days and remember not to chew on the treated side. Avoid very hot or cold foods during the healing process. Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth we have just treated, until you have a crown place. Until that time, your tooth still is weakened and could fracture.
Do not smoke during the first 24 hours and minimize the number of times you smoke during the remaining healing process because smoking delays the healing process. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours. Avoid crunchy or hard foods which could cause the tooth without a crown to fracture. Rinse frequently with warm salt water for the next two days.
A tooth may be uncomfortable or you may have a dull ache right after a root-canal. This should subside within a few days (or even weeks). Pain radiates so you may have pain in areas not directly where the treatment happened.
The tooth will be sensitive to biting pressure and may even appear to feel loose (this is because of sensitivity in the nerve-ending) This is common, and may last from a few days to a couple of weeks. Warm salt-water rinses for the next two days will help and avoid chewing on this side until all tenderness is gone.
Within a few days after a root canal, you may find a small “bubble” or “pimple” on the gum tissue. This happens because of the release of pressure and bacteria which no longer can be sustained around the tooth and should disappear within a few days.
Gums may be sore and the tooth may be tender when biting or chewing. The nerves around the tooth have been inflamed and the tooth was manipulated of the tooth during treatment.
Your root canal is not complete until you have a crown to protect this tooth.