After Completion of Root Canal Therapy

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When Root Canal Therapy is performed on a tooth, the nerve, blood supply, and nutrient supply to the tooth, as well as some hard tissue, are removed. This causes the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracture. You should chew on the other side of the mouth until your dentist has placed a core build-up and a permanent restoration, usually a crown.

A temporary filling has been placed over the access of the root canal to aid in prevention of fracture and decay. This material may chip or wear away, which is normal. It is only a problem if it becomes uncomfortable for you or if it falls out completely. If this happens, we can adjust this for you or replace the filling until your restorative appointment.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Following root canal therapy, expect the treated area to be sore and tender to touch for 4-7 days. Swelling is rare, but may occur depending on the extent of the treatment and location in the mouth.

PAIN: It is normal for your tooth to be sore and tender after treatment, and will most likely be increasingly sore on the second day. Tenderness to biting may persist up to a month after treatment, but should gradually get better over time. This is a normal process that the body goes through in order to heal properly.  If you feel that the pain and soreness is uncomfortable, you can take analgesics such as Advil (ibuprofen) or aspirin tablets, or other pain medication with which you are familiar. If you develop a rash or if you become nauseated, discontinue medication and contact our office.

RECOMMENDED HOME CARE:   Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt to 8oz lukewarm water) 4-6 times daily and chew on the other side. Brush and floss normally, but we recommend not flossing around the temporary filling if it extends to the edge of the tooth. 

DIET: While waiting for your permanent restoration appointment, it is important that you avoid chewing on the side treated with the root canal. Foods to avoid include nuts, pop corn, and other hard, crunchy, or chewy foods like steak and gum, that could possibly break the remaining tooth structure or pull out the temporary filling. Stick to eating a softer diet such as mashed potatoes and soup if necessary.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office, we will be glad to assist you!

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