General Guidelines for all procedures:
Carefully follow all guidelines provided by our office, and, most importantly, practice good oral hygiene. Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. Please click on the topics below for detailed instructions. In the event of an emergency please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
- No eating or drinking for the first 30 minutes following your treatment. Also avoid feeling around your tooth with your tongue. This is to allow the temporary filling sufficient time to harden.
- If you were given any prescriptions, please have them filled promptly and take as directed. If no prescriptions were given, you may choose to take ibuprofen medications such as Motrin or Advil (as long as you do not have any allergies to these medications) for alleviation of discomfort and swelling. Alternatively, you may use Tylenol. Do not exceed the guidelines printed on the label for any medication. If you are unable to achieve adequate pain control, please call our office.
- Applying a cold compress to the face near the treatment area will help minimize swelling. If using an ice pack, please do not apply ice directly to your skin but place a cloth between the ice and your skin at all times. You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and at least 20 minutes off for the next 6-8 hours as needed.
- Once you resume eating and drinking, avoid chewing or biting on the treatment area until your permanent restoration is placed. The temporary filling or crown placed immediately following root canal treatment is usually a soft composite that is vulnerable to fracturing (cracking). For this reason, it is important to avoid chewing on hard substances such as peanuts, pretzels, hard candy, ice cubes, etc.. You may experience increased sensitivity prior to the placement of the final restoration. You will need to see a restorative dentist within a month to have a permanent crown or filling placed. Please contact your restorative dentist to make an appointment at your earliest convenience. Waiting longer than a month increases the chances that the temporary will fracture or that decay will develop in the affected area.
- Please keep the treated area clean by gently brushing and flossing regularly.
- It is rare for a temporary filling to fall out although it may divot while in use. If the temporary falls out, please contact your general dentist as soon as possible. If your temporary falls out after office hours, you may purchase some temporary filling material from a pharmacy and follow the included instructions to cover the area until you can be seen in our office.
- Some discomfort is normal for 2 to 4 days following root canal therapy. In some cases the tooth and surrounding tissue may be sore for a few weeks following treatment.
- Please brush and floss as usual unless otherwise instructed by our office. Follow any other instructions provided by our office during your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed.
THIS SECTION IS VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
While flare-ups are rare, they occur in about 5% of cases and may cause significant pain. They generally only occur with teeth that are extremely irritated and/or infected or with teeth that have a history of prior treatment. These sometimes occur randomly, even on patients that have had root canals done in the past without problems. If you have a flare-up, you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling, throbbing, or general discomfort; please contact our office right away. You may be prescribed additional medication such as antibiotics, and/or you may be asked to come to the office for further treatment.
- Some pain, bleeding, swelling, and seeping are normal following oral surgery. Please do not try to view the site by pulling on your lip and do not probe the area with your tongue or fingers. If you experience excessive bleeding or discomfort after 48-72 hours, please call our office immediately.
- You can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen according to the instructions on the label or those provided by our office as needed.
- Swelling around the face, eyes, and surgical site is not uncommon and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. Applying a cold compress to the face near the surgery site will help minimize swelling. If using an ice pack, please do not apply ice directly to your skin but place a cloth between the ice and your skin at all times. You may apply the cold compress for up to 20 minutes on and at least 20 minutes off as needed. After 36 hours the cold compress will have no further impact on swelling. After this period, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can help reduce swelling.
- A warm salt water rinse, approximately ½ teaspoon in an eight ounce glass of water, three times a day can be helpful.
- Be gentle when brushing around the teeth near the surgery site but brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally as instructed by our office
- For 24 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, brush, rinse, spit, or smoke.
- For the first 24 hours you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity. Avoid hot and spicy foods as well as carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
- Restrict your activities on the day of your surgery. Avoid excessive work or play, and resume normal activity the following day as tolerated.
- During the first few days after surgery restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies.
- Follow any other instructions provided by the office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed including your prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection.
- If you have a denture that overlaps the surgery site, please minimize the use of the denture following surgery to allow the site to heal. After the first week, you should be able to gradually increase the amount of time you can wear your denture.
- It is extremely important to keep your follow up appointment(s) so that we can monitor the healing process.
- If pain and swelling are increasing after a few days, please call our office right away.