Congratulations! By saving your tooth with root canal treatment, you have made a significant step towards better oral health. A healthy body starts with a healthy mouth.
How to care for your teeth following root canal therapy:
Root canal therapy often takes two or more appointments to complete. A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments, but you should take the following precautions to protect your tooth and ease any discomfort.
Your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after appointments in which we’ve used an anesthetic. You can drink any liquid but avoid chewing anything until the numbness has completely worn off.
Temporary fillings and crowns:
It’s common, and not a problem, for a small portion of your temporary filling or crown to wear away or break off between appointments. This usually does not cause any harm to the tooth. However, if the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call us as soon as you can so that we can replace it.
It’s normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter medications. Sometimes you can even experience a lot of pain even after a successful treatment, this is rare but does happen, please call our office so we can place you on certain medications. To control discomfort, take pain medication (over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Tylenol should be enough) as recommended. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
Routine care and precautionary measures:
To further reduce pain and swelling, rinse 2-3 times a day with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water). To protect the tooth and help keep your temporary filling or crown in place, avoid eating sticky or hard foods (especially gum), and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. It’s important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully. To prevent removal of the crown, remove the floss by pulling it through the teeth, not down or up from between the space between teeth.
Your permanent crown:
Usually, the last step after root canal treatment is the placement of a crown on the tooth. A crown covers the tooth and protects it from breaking in the future. Please call our office if your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent swelling or pain. Or if you have any other questions or concerns.