Post Op Instructions: Home Care Following a Root Canal

We used a local anesthetic to thoroughly numb the area being treated. This numbness in your lips, teeth and tongue might last for several hours after the procedure. You should avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.

Caring for your temporary crown or filling

The temporary filling or crown was placed to protect your teeth while your custom restoration Is being created in a dental lab. It's common for a small portion of a temporary filling to wear away or break off. This usually is not a problem. However, you should take these precautions to ensure that your temporary filling or crown stays securely in place:

  • Avoid chewing gum and eating sticky or hard foods
  • If possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth
  • Continue to brush normally
  • Floss carefully each day pulling the floss out from the side as you floss next to the temporary—lifting the floss out from the top can cause the temporary to come loose

What if my tooth hurts?

For the first few days after your root canal therapy, you may have some discomfort or sensitivity in the tooth that was treated, particularly if there was pain and infection prior to the treatment. If antibiotics have been prescribed for the infection, it's important that you take them for the full length of time indicated on the prescription, even if all signs of infection are gone. To control discomfort, we recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever, following label directions. To further reduce pain and swelling, you can rinse three times a day with warm salt water. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, then gently swish the water around the tooth and spit.

Taking care of your new, permanent crown or filling

Your permanent crown or filling should look natural and feel comfortable. Continue to brush and floss regularly to ensure that your restored tooth stays healthy. Please be sure to call our office if:

  • Your bite feels uneven
  • Your tooth feels "tight" or you have difficulty flossing around the tooth
  • You have persistent pain
  • You have any questions or concerns about your restored tooth

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  ©2004 Edward M. Carter, DMD, FAGD :: Site designed and maintained by TNT Dental