After Root Canal Therapy

What to Expect

  • It is not uncommon for a tooth to be uncomfortable or even exhibit a dull ache immediately after receiving root canal therapy. This should subside within one week.
  • Your tooth will be sensitive to biting pressure and may even appear to feel loose. This feeling is a result of the sensitivity of nerve-endings in the tissue just outside the end of the root, where we cleaned, irrigated, and placed filler and sealer material. This feeling will be short-lived.
  • You may feel a depression or rough area (on the top of a back tooth or the back of a front tooth) where our access was made. There is a soft, temporary material in that area, which may wear away to some degree before your next visit.
  • Occasionally, a small “bubble” or “pimple” will appear on the gum tissue within a few days after completion of a root canal. This presents the release of pressure and bacteria, which no longer can be sustained around the tooth. This should disappear within a few days.

What to do

  • We recommend you take something for pain relief within one hour of leaving our office to get the medication into your system before the anesthesia we administered begins to subside. Generally, only one dose is needed. We recommend ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) 800 mg (four tablets). If you have a medical condition or GI disorder, which precludes ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) is a substitute, although it does not contain anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth we have just treated, until your tooth is restored. Until that time, your tooth still is weakened and could fracture.
  • Please avoid chewing gum, caramels or other sticky, soft candy, which could dislodge the temporary material or fracture your tooth.
  • Return to your dentist for final restoration and follow up.

Please call us if…

  • You are experiencing symptoms more intense or of longer duration than those described above.
  • You encounter significant postoperative swelling.
  • The temorary material is dislodged, feels loose, or feels “high” when biting.
  • You have any questions at all.