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Post-Operative Care

What should I expect following endodontic treatment?

The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, and sealed with an inert material. All the irritants that caused your toothache have been eliminated. A temporary filling has been placed. Please return to your general dentist for the final restoration (crown) as soon as possible.

It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw and corners of your mouth from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.You may be prescribed antibiotics.Avoid chewing on that side till the final retoration has been placed .

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact your endodontist.

Guidelines for Post-Treatment Care

  • Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
  • Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
  • Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
  • If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact your endodontist.

Contact your endodontist right away if you develop any of the following:

  • a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth;
  • an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction);
  • a return of original symptoms; or
  • your bite feels uneven.

Physical Activities

The effects of the anesthesia will wear off within 4 to 6 hours following surgery.

Avoid strenuous physical activities, exposure to the sun and hot weather. Attempt home rest for a minimum of two days following surgery.

Pain

Except soreness of the mouth with slight pain at the operation site. The teeth may become sensitive to temperature changes. They may become loose, elongated or painful to the touch, Occasionally you may experience a temporary loss of sensation at or near the surgery site.

Take pain medication only when in pain. Do Not drive or operative hazardous machinery when taking narcotics.

Bleeding

Some Bleeding is normal. There will be blood mixed with your saliva for the first two days. If heavy bleeding occurs, place a gauze pack or tea bag over the wound for thirty minutes and apply firm pressure. Repeat if necessary.

Swelling

You can expect significant swelling of the face for a period of 3 to 6 days. This may be accompanied by skin discoloration or bruising.

To reduce the swelling, place an ice pack to the area for five minutes and then remove for five minutes. Repeat this ice application for five minute intervals during the first 4 to 6 hours following surgery. DO NOT USE heat pad or take hot liquids during the first 4 to 6 hours.

Your lips or the corners of your mouth may become bruised or sore. Keep them lubricated with Vaseline.

Sutures

For the thorough removal of infected, diseased or abscessed tissue and far better treatment results, the incision was extended to include adjacent teeth. The edges of the wound are held together with very delicate silk sutures. To prevent suture loss, please do not pull or lift the lips or cheeks. DO NOT disturb the sutures.

Return to our office within a week for removal of the sutures. Do not be alarmed if one or more of the sutures become loose or lost 3 to 4 days following surgery. The wound has already closed.

Diet

You may drink cold milk within the first 4 to 6 hours. Eat only soft foods for the first 24 hours.

Drink plenty of fluids but avoid carbonated drinks, juices and alcoholic beverages. Avoid tobacco, spicy foods, potato chips, popcorn, nuts and other rough foods. Avoid carbohydrates for 2-3 days. Follow a protein-rich diet. Liquid proteins are excellent.

Oral Hygiene

Please do not disturb the wound during the first 24 hours. After 24 hours you should use the oral antiseptic rinse we prescribed with the syringe you received at our office. The rinse should be flowed over the site using the syringe but do not force the liquid under pressure. After your sutures are removed you may rinse with this liquid twice a day.

Antibiotic Medication

You should use the antibiotic prescription as follows:

  • When instructed by our office
  • If you have any systemic medical illness such as diabetes, rheumatic fever, leukemia, heart murmur, or if you are suffering from any condition that may reduce or limit your body’s defense potential
  • If you have prosthetic implants
  • If you develop a fever
  • If you swelling gets worse or if it recurs
  • If severe pain develops

Biopsy

Some of the infected tissue found during the operation will be sent for pathological examination. This is routine for this type of surgery. You will be informed of the results when they are available.

Emergency Call: (425) 316-8484

Follow-Up Appointments

Within 5 to 7 days following the surgery, stop by to remove the sutures in our office. To assure satisfactory healing of the surgery area, the doctor will examine you one month following the surgery. Afterwards, you will be referred back to your dentist for making of the necessary temporary restorations. Please plan to have the permanent restorations made by your dentist within 2 to 3 months of the surgery. After One year please schedule an appointment in our office to check the healing process.

Follow-Up Schedule After Endodontic Surgery

One Week Suture removal in our office
One Month Healing Check-up in our office
One Month Your dentist to make new temporary restorations
Two-Three Months Your dentist to make new Permanent restorations
One Year Healing Check-up in our office