Instructions Following Root Canal Therapy

  1. We have created an environment for your body to heal itself. During the healing process, it is not unusual to have postoperative soreness for several days up to a week following root canal (endodontic) therapy. Cleaning the root canals may cause inflammation (your body’s natural reaction to the treatment) of the tissue surrounding the tooth.
  2. You may have been given a prescription for this soreness. If not, simply taking over-the-counter analgesics should control this discomfort. For patients not allergic to anti-inflammatory medications or aspirin, we recommend 3 Advil (ibuprofen) 3 times a day or 2  Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) every 8-12 hours for 3 days. It is important not to let these medications wear off between doses. They are more effective if taken consistently. These medications can be discontinued when there is no more discomfort.
  3. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed to help control infection. Please take all medications as directed. Please complete the entire prescription as infection could otherwise reoccur.
  4. Rinsing with salt water 4 times a day can help with swelling and keep the area clean. Continue as needed. Mix 2 tablespoons of salt to 1 glass of warm water.
  5. Do not chew on the side of the mouth where the tooth is being treated at least until the completion of the permanent filling. Please be especially careful not to chew hard foods as they may irritate the area or can cause the tooth to crack. Please continue normal oral hygiene. Brushing normally will not harm the area.
  6. Slight swelling after the root canal therapy may occur and is normal. If the swelling gets worse or pain increases call the office.
  7. After the root canal (endodontic) treatment is complete it is now your responsibility to make an appointment to see your family dentist as soon as possible for permanent restoration of your tooth. Although the roots have been permanently sealed, the surface filling is only temporary and must be replaced. Often, teeth that have been treated by root canal therapy are heavily filled, patched, or weakened by decay. Your dentist may recommend a crown (cap) as the best restoration to adequately protect your tooth from future breakage.
  8. Your tooth will heal in time. However, if any unusual problems should occur during the course of endodontic treatment or if pain medications are not controlling your pain, please call our office and specify that you were seen by Dr. Sarraf.