DO NOT BITE HARD ON THE TOOTH FOR 2 WEEKS
We used a local anesthetic to thoroughly numb the area being treated. This numbness, tingling, or heaviness in your lips, teeth, and tongue may last for several hours (1 to 12 hours) after the procedure. You should be careful and not bite your lip, tongue, or cheek and do not play with them because they feel funny. Biting your lip, cheek, or tongue can lead to serious discomfort and it may last for days.
You have been given a local anesthetic that may last up to 12 hours. It is important to begin pain medication as soon as possible and be taken with food unless told otherwise. Do not wait for the local anesthetic to wear off before taking pain medication. Two (2) tablets of 200mg Ibuprofen (Advil) taken 3 times a day will reduce most post surgical pain. If Ibuprofen upsets your stomach or you have an allergy, use 2 Tylenol Regular Strength taken every 4 hours or If other medications have been prescribed, they should be taken according to their instructions. For the first few days after your root canal therapy, you may experience some discomfort and sensitivity. This is normal. This is why we recommend the Ibuprofen whether you think you need it or not.
If oral sedation was used, a responsible adult will be required to escort you home. You must rest at the house for the next 12 to 18 hours (no driving, operating machinery, making financial decisions, going to the mall, etc).
You will not be prescribed antibiotics unless you have intraoral swelling, facial swelling, or an abscess around the tooth. If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them until all the pills are finished, even if you feel better. If you are on birth control pills, the antibiotics may render your birth control pills ineffective. It is highly advised to use other means of birth control when taking antibiotics.
Swelling is rare, but it is a complication of root canal therapy. Swelling is a sign of infection, therefore you must notify us right away so that we can place you on some antibiotics. You can reduce swelling by applying an ice bag or cold, moist cloth for 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off of every awakened hour. After 2 days, use a warm washcloth as hot as you can stand it or moist heating pad to reduce swelling. Use the warm wash cloth or moist heating pad for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off during your awakened hours. Swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours after the antibiotics are in your system. Be sure to not limit the range of motion of your lower jaw as “babying” yourself with jaw opening after root canal therapy can lead to your muscles locking you in a more closed position.
A temporary filling or crown was placed to protect your tooth between appointments. It is common (and not a problem) for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. If the entire filling falls out, or if the temporary crown comes off, call us so that it can be replaced. If you notice that your are touching the temporary filling or temporary crown before you touch your other teeth, please call us so that we can adjust it. DO NOT EAT STICKY FOODS OR CHEW GUM ON YOUR TEMPORARY AS THEY WILL PULL THE TEMPORARY OFF OF YOUR TOOTH.
DO NOT CHEW ON THE TOOTH FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS. Eating on the tooth earlier can cause pain.
Proper dental care is essential to the success of the root canal therapy. It is the responsibility of the patient to maintain proper home dental care through brushing and flossing. Also regular dental examinations are a must to monitor the health of the supporting tissues.
Six month and twelve month postoperative x-rays are essential to monitor the success of the root canal. If you do not return for the post-root canal visit, a severe abscess may develop which can lead to loss of the tooth or a disabling infection can result.