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Root Canal Aftercare

Numbness

Numbness usually lasts about 2 hours. Please do not chew anything or drink hot or cold liquids until your numbness is gone. Serious injury may occur otherwise.

Chewing

Do not chew on the treated tooth AT ALL until the treatment is finalized. (See “Finalizing Treatment”)

Temporary

If your temporary comes out, don’t worry. It’s not an emergency. If it was only a temporary filling, most likely only a small surface layer came out. Verify this visually, and if so, ignore it. However, if the entire filling came out please call us. If a temporary crown came out, gently clean it and place it back onto your tooth using a small amount of either one of the following temporary cements:

  • Fixodent (dental adhesive from any drugstore, or any other brand)
  • Fluoridated Toothpaste (it will hold the crown in until stronger cement is used)
  • Vaseline (also acts as a temporary cement in a crown) Gently brush away any excess. If you were not successful with any of the above methods, call us or call your general dentist for an appointment to re-cement your temporary.

Since your tooth had root canal therapy, you will not feel any discomfort if a temporary falls out. However do not leave it out of your mouth. This can lead to difficulties with your permanent crown and can result in a contaminated root canal.

Discomfort

We expect slight discomfort following your treatment. Use medications as prescribed, or use your favorite brand of pain reliever if necessary. Ibuprofen (Advil / Motrin) tends to work best for dental pain. Ibuprofen also reduces inflammation and is usually recommended for healing even if you have no pain.

  • For gums: Rinse several times daily with warm salt water (about 1/2 teaspoon in 1 cup). Continue to brush the area gently. A clean mouth heals faster.
  • For muscles: During the first 24, ice packs every 20 minutes are best. During the 2nd day an onwards, alternating hot and cold packs every 20 minutes generally works best to loosen muscle tension. Also during the 2nd day and onwards, slowly chewing on a piece of sugarless gum using the side opposite to your treatment may help. Avoid hard foods such as raw vegetables and nuts.
  • For teeth: Be patient. Do not chew at all on the treated tooth. Call us if you have excessive pain.

Swelling

Occasionally, mild swelling follows treatment. Mild bruising may occur also. These effects often occur in the anesthetic location. Contact us if you experience excessive swelling or swelling in unusual locations. Medications Please follow the prescription instructions on your medication labels.

Finalizing Treatment

Root canal therapy brings your tooth one step closer to completion, but it is not complete yet. Your tooth now needs a final restoration such as a crown or filling, to protect the tooth from breakage and from contamination. This is done by your general dentist. If the final restoration is delayed, the tooth may break or become contaminated, requiring more treatment at additional cost.

Contact Us

Be sure to call us immediately upon any allergic reactions (such as rash, difficulty breathing, itching), fever, excessive swelling, or if you have any further questions or concerns. In case of mild emergency, please call the office at (813) 448-7422. In case of extreme emergency, call 911, or visit a hospital emergency room.